• Christa Niravong

Setting World Records: First Traverse Over a Lava Lake

Do you remember being a child and reading the Guinness Book of World Records? Remember dreaming that maybe one day, you could maybe skip and beat the world record? Or grow your fingernails? Or chew gum the longest?

Flash forward thirty years and adventurer and businessman Frederick Schuett's children receive a Guinness Book of World Records for Christmas from a friend. It was with sheer delight and pleasure that they found their Daddy on one of the pages. At first, Schuett thought that the children had mistaken someone for their father, but when he examined the book more carefully, they were right! It was a picture of their father, Schuett at the Crater of Fire in Turkmenistan.

Frederick Schuett joined the National Geographic team to the “Gateway to Hell” or Darvaza in Turkmenistan's Karakoum desert to rig a zipline over the Crater of Fire. The Crater of Fire is a crater that has been continuously burning for over forty years when the government decided to light it (in hope of extinguishing it). Schuett rigged the tyrolean traverse for George Kourounis to traverse across the flaming gas crater and then lowered him down into the crater to extract samples for science. And so, started the hunt for Schuett to do the rigging for more World Firsts.

After joining National Geographic to rig the zipline over Darvaza’s Crater of Fire in Turkmenistan, Schuett took Brazilian celebrity, Karina Oliani (who had heard about the Turkmenistan stunt) to zipline over Erte Ale Volcano in Ethiopia. Not a year passed and another expedition, this time to Marum Volcano in Vanuatu with a Princess (can't say which one) to set a couple more world records. The fun is just beginning as international calls and contracts keep coming from people asking for Schuett's rigging expertise. He is the only person to date who has rigged these ziplines over lava.

Schuett has many world first ideas that no one else has dreamed of. Now he is searching for potential clients to complete the stunts. Will it be royalty? A celebrity? An oil tycoon? You?