Arts, Culture & Media

Two legendary daredevils take on one of the world's biggest caves, and climb it

Two men — an American and a German — have just climbed out of one of the largest cave chambers in the world.

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It's called Majlis al Jinn, and is located in the Hadschar Mountains in the southeast of Oman.

The chamber is big enough to swallow the Great Pyramid of Giza. The climb — some might say stunt — took two weeks to complete.

Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma rapelled in, then climbed back up using nothing but an iron grip and a safety rope. Sounds a bit nuts, but they've apparently climbed just about everything else there is to climb — so why not?

"Maybe it's a world record," said Glowacz, a three-time winner of the "Rock Master" title, "but this was not the objective for us, to climb the biggest and maybe a world record there, but we wanted to climb this unique project."

That may be the understatement of the year.

Only a few researchers are believed to have even visited the cave, let alone anyone climbing in it.

Glowacz said the most difficult part was making the transition from the vertical climb — up the side of the cave wall — to climbing on the ceiling of the cave, upside down.

The two climbers used suspended platforms to rest and to assess their progress over the two weeks. And they did leave the cave every night to get some shut-eye at a campsite above ground.

But climbing 750 feet more or less straight up, even with a rest here and there, isn't easy.

So imagine the relief when it was over.

"Definitely when I look back on this trip in a couple of years, it's going to be a really memorable experience in my life, and kind of a transformative one, too," said Sharma, the American climber. "To get a chance to come to such a faraway country and to such a remote, crazy location, like that cave, and to get to climb with Stefan has been really, really unforgettable and really will stay with me for a long time."

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