World's Longest Abseil
01 December 2006 | Lesotho
According to Guinness World Records Maletsunyane Falls is the world's longest abseil. It is 204 meters (670 feet) from top to bottom and a wonderful. ride next to a beautiful waterfall.
Abseiling is basically rappelling or lowering yourself on a rope down a vertical distance. You wear a climbing harness which is attached to a friction device that controls the rate of decent down the rope or static line.
Before we decided to do it, I was really concerned about safety so I asked Semonkong Lodge's staff a lot of questions. All of their answers seemed to make sense to me. Before we did the actual the big one we would have to do 3 shorter abseils to simulate all of the conditions we would experience.
On the morning of our first day in Semonkong, we hiked down the canyon to the base of the waterfall and watched a French couple do it. I was hooked immediately and really wanted to try it. Emma said she was also game but Axel and Julie were not as keen. Four days later when we were back from our horse trek, Emma and I did our training abseils for the big one the next morning.
That night at the bar, after a few rounds Axel started to express some interest. Sean, the activity coordinator and chief climber, told Axel that if he really wanted to do it they could get up at 5AM and do the training. Axel agreed and the next morning he completed the training.
While the three of us were sitting at the top of the cliff. Axel and Emma remembered that the John-o, the head of the lodge, had said that if anyone would do it naked they would not have to pay. Although 255 people had done it before us no one had taken him up on the offer. Axel, always keen for a bargain, decided that this was a good idea.
I went first, Emma second and then naked Axel. At the last minute, Sean made Axel wear his underwear for safety reasons. It might be messy if anything got caught in the friction device.
The first few steps were a little intense but the experience was exhilarating and the scenery spectacular!