David Carlier/Caters News

Bodyboarding Down Glaciers Is A (Terrifying) Thing That Exists

Death-defying duo hydrospeeds on Europe's largest glacier.

Only crazy daredevils would see the longest, deepest and largest glacier in Europe and think, "We should totally bodyboard down that thing." That's exactly what Claude-Alain Gailland and Gilles Janin did recently, conquering Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland with a seven-mile hydrospeeding ride down the treacherous ice river.

Hydrospeeding, also called riverboarding, is similar to bodyboarding, but without waves it requires a high-flotation board and flippers for steering and control. It's a fairly common board sport, but bring glaciers into the mix, and then you have a small subset of riders qualified to take on the challenge. That's because, according to the Daily Mail, riders risk being carried away by overpowering currents, drowning in hidden crevices, being overtaken by collapsing glacial lakes or getting crushed by broken chunks of ice speeding downstream.

David Carlier/Caters News

"This is a very unusual activity — most wouldn't dare to hydrospeed on a course like this," said photographer David Carlier, who documented the duo's run. Just to give some scope into its massive size, the Aletsch Glacier forms at a point where four other glaciers meet. "We are talking about a handful of guys in the world who can do it, as it requires a lot of knowledge and expertise."

David Carlier/Caters News

So it's all the danger of the skeleton, with all the danger of of falling into a frozen lake, plus all the danger of sledding down an avalanche, with none of the safety of staying at home and watching "Ice Road Truckers." What's not to like!

David Carlier/Caters News