NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Balancing act - the high wire walk to the Old Man of Hoy

Alexander Schulz on high wire Image copyright Dan Hunt
Image caption Schulz said wind and waves had made his feat "very hard"

A German adventurer has become the first person to walk to and from the summit of the Old Man of Hoy on a high wire.

Alexander Schulz completed the walk 137m above the sea on a line 180m long.

The team behind the project say they used only natural anchors and no bolts and that the tension in the line posed no threat to the rock.

Schulz said he was "stunned" by the location, and that accomplishing the walk was an "amazing feeling".

He told BBC Radio Orkney it had taken two months of planning by a team of eight.

Image copyright Dan Hunt
Image caption The team say the tension in the wire posed no threat to the sandstone sea stack

Dan Hunt, one of the climbers who established the lines, said they had been careful not to do anything which would damage the location.

Alexander Schulz said it had been "really hard", even though he has walked much longer high wires in the past.

"We didn't have the most easy conditions. We were actually pretty lucky quite lucky with the weather. But the wind was quite gusty. And the water moving below me was distracting."

He said he had only been able to finish the walk by going inside himself and finding a calm point, to overcome his fear.

Image copyright Dan Hunt
Image caption The Old Man of Hoy is 137m high, and the line was 180m long

"All the time you have to be concentrated like one hundred per cent. And then you eventually make it, to continue standing, balancing. And taking steps.

"Step by step. This is a really intense feeling, because you're in the moment and just thinking of the next step.

"And I finally stepped off, on the other side."

A team of climbers ascended the Old Man live on BBC television 50 years ago in a ground-breaking outside broadcast.

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