Fact Sheet: Lake Sils and the Latest Human Endurance Record
Lake Sils is a stunning natural wonder in the Upper Engadine valley of Grisons, Switzerland. Named after the village of Sils im Engadin, the lake is a popular tourist destination and is known for its clear waters and surrounding mountain ranges. Recently, a Czech man achieved an unprecedented feat of human endurance by diving into this frigid lake without a wetsuit to reach a depth of 52.1 feet.
Geography of Lake Sils
Located at an altitude of 1,797 meters above sea level, Lake Sils is situated between the Maloja Pass and Lake Silvaplana. The lake is surrounded by several towering mountains, including Piz Corvatsch, Piz Grevasalvas, and Piz da la Margna, all of which are over 3,000 meters in height. The lake’s drainage basin reaches its highest point at Piz Fora and includes the Vadrec da Fedoz glacier. With a surface area of 4.1 square kilometers, Lake Sils is the largest natural lake in the Alps situated above 1,000 meters. The lake’s formation was the result of a prehistoric landslide dam, much like the nearby Lake Silvaplana.
David Vencl’s Dive
David Vencl, a 40-year-old man from the Czech Republic, accomplished an incredible human endurance feat in Lake Sils. He dived to a depth of 52.1 meters without a wetsuit and emerged from the frigid water unharmed, completing the task in a single breath. Vencl previously entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2021 for swimming the entire length of a frozen lake in the Czech Republic.
The Dive Experience
Vencl’s dive was unique and challenging due to the combination of cold water, lack of oxygen, and pressure issues. The plunge into the icy waters, with temperatures ranging between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius, took him one minute and 54 seconds, which was a bit slower than expected. Vencl dove through a hole in the ice and retrieved a sticker from a depth of 50 meters to prove his achievement before resurfacing.
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