High altitude muni??

Hi guys!

Just out of curiosity; does anyone know if there has been any attempts like this on a unicycle? Is there a world record in high altitude muni? :slight_smile:


I think it has been done:


Steve’s ride (mentioned above) is certainly one of the highest ever. KH and Nathan hiked to the top of Orizaba in Mexico and rode down (5754 meters); that might be the current record. Their ride was documented by Sean White in “Unizaba.”

I think they considered doing Aconcagua in Argentina (the highest peak in the New World, 6962 meters), but couldn’t get clearance to ride there. (Officially, no wheels allowed on the mountain).

Yes we rode at the summit of Orizaba, but that is nowhere near as high as Thierry Bouché in 1992 on his 20": http://pagesperso-orange.fr/mtt.sport/pro_aconcagua_photo.htm

It takes an amazing amount of physical and mental power to do ride at high altitude! I loved the story of biking Mustagh Ata. I first heard about that mountain 35 years ago and always wanted to go there. Hagelbrus, thanks so much for posting.

Riding on Aconcagua was legal in 1992, but is no longer. As with Kilimanjaro, no wheeled vehicles of any type allowed near on the mountain. The good old days are gone.


Who is going to stop you if you just go up and ride down? Most of the laws written for wheeled vehicles do not intend to cover unicycles- so any laws being enforced are done by people who don’t understand the limitations, or lack of limitations which unicycles have. “Bikes” are not allowed on Mt Taranaki, and I doubt enforcement officers would see unicycles as different from bikes, but we have gone up the mountain a few times and most people seem entertained by us being there. You would want to be extra careful riding down, not to fall off and have your unicycle bouncing down the mountain upon unsuspecting climbers. You would also want to ride in places that you are allowed to walk- e.g. not on the fragile moss slopes that grow to the sides of the track, so as not to cause damage. Bikes go much faster than unicycles since they freewheel so they make more sense to ban from mountains. By not asking you don’t get the answer “no”.

I think Kevin Wharton might hold the highest altitude record at 700m on Tabletop mountain.

You forgot to remind everyone that helmets are useless and police are idiots.

It is not accurate to say that all Police are idiots, but the generalisation can apply to the ones that enforce laws inappropriately. I did imply that some Police are idiots by mentioning their lack of understanding.

Helmets could be useful for people like you with pointy heads and small brain capacity. The helmet could prevent you from impaling someone on your head when you crash into them.

Don’t-a worry about it.
Most-a people think the same-a thing about you.

Ahem, Gentlemen! Let’s try and avoid personal attacks, can we?

Back on the topic of High Altitude Muni, it is true that in many (all?) National Parks in USA, Kenya and Argentina at least, wheeled vehicles including unicycles are more than frowned upon. They are simply not allowed. From what I hear, the rangers at Kilimanjaro check carefully. The Argentine climber I talked to told me that the same is true at Aconcagua. To check, back in 2005, I wrote to the park officials with a coherent argument of the low speed and impact of unicycling but was told in firm terms that it was not possible. Money might talk though…you never know. I didn’t try that.

There are still plenty of places where pretty much anything goes. You could go high in Bolivia (6500m) or Ecuador (6300m) with much less hassle I believe. The reason Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro are very special cases is the massive hype of http://7summits.com/


It looks like some of the popular peaks that ban all wheeled vehicles. That makes sense if they do not want a lot a destruction by thoughtless riders, or perhaps they get tired of rescuing idiotic riders who assume that the rules do not apply to them and proceed to injure themselves doing an “extremely safe” activity on treacherous terrane at 5000 M. :astonished:

Park rangers often end up rescuing inexperienced climbers from accessible peaks like Mt. Hood in Oregon, where is is apparently very easy to get in over ones head. I assume that riding a unicycle in some of these areas has an unusual degree of risk. That is not to say that it cannot be done, only that if it became a common practice there would be some unfortunate accidents.

For a one-time event, it might be possible to do all kinds of crazy things as part of the production of a movie that has approval from high levels in the local government. Everyone likes to be involved with a movie!

Ahem, here is what happened to me a few years ago in Nepal:

The riding wasn’t even that technical, I was just a bit lightheaded from the altitude and fell down a bank in a slightly ungraceful fashion.

Spent 2hrs crawling to the local village over leech infested ground, then hired a horse and got carted out on horseback, then flew back to Kathmandu where I spent two weeks in hospital getting my ankle screwed back together.

I don’t recommend having an operation in Nepal. You have to do everything yourself, including buy your own drugs, cannulas, xrays etc. And the funniest thing happened on the ward round a couple of days before my surgery. The surgeon scribbles on a piece of paper all the parts (screws and plates) I would need for my operation and gives it to me.

as a friend of mine is working in Tadjikistan I was wondering if we could set up a huge Muni ride there. but, frankly, I would rather consider the longest downhill ride with lot of fun and scenery than the highest one!

While not quite as high as the rest, limited sort of trials like way. Mt. Elbert is one of the few exceptions that is actually very rideable from the summit and down to the trailhead (losing 4900’ over 6 miles!). I’m from Alabama so I don’t too much of a chance to get out to Colorado, so when I do I like to take advantage of it. I’d love to go ride some higher peaks/volcanos someday… sigh…

I am glad you survived your adventure. It sounds like a great trip until the problem with the ankle.

The “crawling to the local village over leech infested ground” is a bit out of my comfort zone for a vacation. It brings to mind scenes from Peter Jackson’s King Kong.



It’s true that Aconcagua is strictly off limits, but there are a lot of lesser known and rideable volcanoes in South America that would be good goals. My highest riding experience was off the summit of Licancabur, Bolivia (5,920 metres, 19,423 ft). The summit was very rideable but I found the descent really hard; I didn’t ride much of the mid-upper slopes. Lower sections were much more rideable.

In hindsight, better acclimatization would have helped. The hut at the base is quite low at only about 4400 m, so on summit day I hiked 2100 m vert to the top, which was a lot more than I was acclimatized well for.


Arithmetic edit: 1500 m. =)

That’s what the ‘ignore’ function is for :stuck_out_tongue:

Ken was using the ‘ignore’ function on me while in his official capacity while wearing his green organisers T-shirts. I asked him “Who can tell me about the relay race?” and he didn’t even look at me. Nice one Ken- very helpful green T-shirt you were! Speaking of green T-shirts, I got one! Thanks J. Kilpatrick for your generosity!

While ignoring personal attacks Ken does enough damage to his person without needing someone else to attack him. Who needs sticks and stones to break your own bones when you can just lack common sense!