How Did Fabio Wibmer Ride That Dam Wall?

Dec 1, 2016
by rasoulution  
Fabio Wibmer has proven to be one fearless man, when it comes to pushing the limits and giving people sweaty palms and weak knees with his bike skills. Take a look at how it all went down on the Kölnbreinsperre dam.

Fabio Wibmer Behind the Scenes of Riding a Dam Wall
(All photos: Hannes Berger)

Was this the most dangerous challenge you have done?
It was definitely one of the scariest and most dangerous things I've ever done in my life. Riding on an 8cm wide rail, which is 200m high, was pretty tough.

Did you use any safety measures?
Yes, I was wearing a safety rope, otherwise it would have been totally irresponsible. Although I was just secured by one guy and a rope, which wasn't really a safe way to do it.

Fabio Wibmer Behind the Scenes of Riding a Dam Wall

Where did the idea come from?
I had this idea a few months ago when I was looking for new spots where to film a video project. I searched for all kind of different places on google, and suddenly saw a massive dam. I just thought how awesome it would be, to ride across a thin rail which is high up. I had the idea, searched for the perfect dam and went there with some friends.

Fabio Wibmer Behind the Scenes of Riding a Dam Wall

Fabio Wibmer Behind the Scenes of Riding a Dam Wall

Did you pull it off at first try?
Unfortunately not. I thought I could make it with the first go, but the strong wind made it really tough. I didn't want to do it more than just once, but in the end it took me about 7 tries to get to the middle of the dam. I don´t think I´ve ever been so full of adrenaline in my life!

Fabio Wibmer Behind the Scenes of Riding a Dam Wall

Why did you do this?
I always push my limits and try to do things, that no one has done before. It´s all about being creative, doing new things and pushing the limits.

Fabio Wibmer Behind the Scenes of Riding a Dam Wall

Watch the full video here:

MENTIONS: @rasoulution / @wibmerfabio


  • 134 6
 didn´t saw the video yet... but i bet it´s wicked!! 200m drop on a full rigid!!
  • 14 0
 Nearly wet myself laughing! Legendary comment!!!
  • 6 1
 I'm afraid anything this guy does after this ride won't give him adrenaline and he will search to do more dangerous and irresponsible things that could eventually kill him. Fear is a good thing, don't try and loose it.
  • 1 1
 @pigit77: I mean he had a harness, not much of one, but a harness no less. And if it is thrill seeking he wants, why should your terrified posts dissuade him?
  • 39 1
  • 8 11
  • 7 1
 Is that a god dam?
  • 44 24
 That safety was so unconscious IMO.... What would have happened in case of fall do you think ? - How would his friend (one guy) possibly have held 80 kilograms back ?? Joke ..... they should have used a car or something that does not move and NOBODY CARES if we see the safety installation on the gopro clip ... he filmed it like to make believe there was no safety, like it was "cool" which is wrong. Dont be ashamed fabio safety shows you're intelligent !
  • 25 12
 One person is enough for belaying. Although, it was bit different situation, this is how you do it in rock climbing.
  • 21 8
 @szec: you usually belay nowadays with a pulley system, not hooked right up to a guy at the top of a cliff. That said, the dude was much larger than him, so it's probably plenty fine. This isn't belaying, it's a safety rope.
  • 35 0
 it's tlike approaching a glacier as a roped team of two.
  • 4 0
 @Cirest: bingo.
  • 7 4
 @atrokz not sure what you mean by pully systems for belaying. Like Cirest says this is pretty much alpine style belaying aka "moving together", you do it on glaciers or easy rock/ice pitches where a fall is unlikely (in the latter case with one or two pieces of gear between the climbers). You can even do it on ridges if you make sure to jump off the opposite side if your partner falls Wink If the rope is properly tied to his mate it's unlikely the belayer would go over the rail from where he stands due to friction on the rail itself and rope stretch absorbing the impact. Might get pulled over and a bit grazed though!
  • 5 4
 @sideshowb: I don't believe this is not belaying. there is no variance in rope length, he's not climbing, there is nothing solid being tied off. the safety man isn't belaying him up or down, he's not climbing up or down. it's simply a safety rope. Same as safety rope a roofer uses which we call 'fall arrest'. the only similarity is he is keeping a constant tension or lack thereof and his equipment is climbing equipment. he is not using it to lower or raise the rope, it's in a constant length and it's solely for safety fall arrest, not climbing up or down. thats my take on it as least, same as Cirest. I used to climb fwiw.
  • 4 3
 @atrokz: You don't need anything solid to be tied off (cf. body belay) but I take your point about no variance in rope length.
  • 2 4
 @sideshowb: by definition it's static (body belay is using your body with rope tied around it for friction to slow your decent down, lots of people died this way). but in this instance, a fall would require a transition from rope team to belay and an anchor. Guess it could be a belay ultimately if he fell as the safety man would need to anchor and begin to belay at that point.
  • 12 6
 What!? This is pinkbike, not What's with all the stupid OSHA comments?
  • 8 5
 @madriaanse: you mean

We are just discussing something we like. Stick to knitting we will climb instead.
  • 1 2
 @atrokz: That belay is good.
  • 4 5
 @atrokz: there are definately no pulleys involved in belaying for TR, sport. or trad climbing.
  • 2 0
 The belay guy looks much larger and if Fabio fell the rope would rest on the railing creating a point of friction the belay would use to his advantage. Not the best, but looks OK. That being said, I'm glad to learn Fabio was using a belay during his attempt. Otherwise pointless stupidity.
  • 2 3
 I think ni this case the belayer could have been dragged over to the fence, shit i think things could have gone seriously wrong... glad nothing happened
  • 5 4
 the fall factor involved if they were tied together if he fell off the wrong side would have pulled them both over the edge with little resistance. if the second person was simply holding the rope it would be as much use as a chocolate teapot.
  • 4 2 this demonstrates why unnecessary slack in your rope is undesirable. if fabio fell off the wall the other chap would have probably joined him with the force of being hit by a car
  • 3 2
 @wiscobiker: what do you think your carabiners act as? Quick draws, chains or gear with a top through them act as a single pulley system.
  • 3 2
 @lyophilization: yup. People just dont get it. Stick to rock walls kiddos.
  • 2 2
 @atrokz: a Carabiner as a pulley is nowhere near as efficient or safe. If you have the ability to plan, and chose to substitute a carabiner in place of a pulley, in a system where you require mechanical advantage .. you should probably stick to the gym.
  • 3 0
 @lyophilization: it acts as a point of directional change, there is a fundamental difference between a biner and a pulley in that the rope does not "slide" when it goes around a pulley. either way this was not a climbing stunt and fabio took the precautions he thought were appropriate. are you guys going to bitch about honnold free soloing?
  • 1 1
 @cmcrawfo: of course it isnt as safe. But in engineering speak it acts as one hence his comment. Stick to the gym? You mean I shouldnt have peaked those mountains in Alberta, BC, and Zion? Lmao. That said good base strength is built in the gym so yes, Ill keep doing that as well as having fun at whatever I do. No serious climbing for me for a while since I broke a bunch of bones a few years back unfortunately and took years off. Rockwalls around here seem to be full of circlejerk wanabe pros calling rope teams belays so Ill stick to outdoors if I ever get into it again.
  • 3 1
 Does this now conclude pedantic fridays? Razz
  • 2 0
 @atrokz: If you're being pedantic I think the argument went on until Sunday Wink
  • 1 0
 In the US on construction sites whatever you are tied off to is required to support 5000 lbs. A lot of that is based on there is some free fall before there is a catch. This is much more similar to working on an edge than climbing where there is sometime of blocking involved that can absorb some of the force.
  • 3 0
 @Rubiconbmx: Industrial Rope Access standards are far far more stringent than recreational climbing practice. Mainly to protect folk who have to work for a living - recreational climbers are free to choose another route or hobby if they don't like the risk...
  • 3 0
 @sideshowb: makes sense. we had extensive fall arrest training at last work, since some of our shop workers (naval defense so big items) were up in cranes and buckets several stories up. If one falls and gets hurt, its a huge deal, inspectors come in, investigation, OHSA, etc. A guy falls climbing, people say "well he took the risk!". Almost impossible to sue a recreational rope maker, or prove a fault without a lot of $$. In industry, it happens anyway, investigators will look at all the equipment as it could be considered criminal negligence if something isn't to spec. So it makes sense that industrial standards are considerably more stringent.
  • 23 2
 How did the first 6 tries end?
  • 40 0
 Obviously not that bad
  • 7 1
 I guess that he just lost balance and jumped off to the right side with the bike.
  • 6 0
 In a cloning operation.
  • 1 0
 @km79: you reminded me of an excellent film. Spoiler alert as knowing your comment + the film would give away the ending of
  • 21 6
 It is amazing how much sh*t Fabio gets on here for this feat! First he was suicidal, then the rope was discovered and now he is a p*ssy and nothing special. In BMX there are plenty of riders doing roof rides and manage to jump off to the "safe" side.
I thought this was Pinkbike and not the forum for geriatric XC riders. You may now return to you health and safety class.
  • 10 0
 I was hoping there was rope involved in making that video. Expected a safety vehicle not a human though.
  • 2 1
 hopefully a dynamic rope.
  • 12 7
 This should be posted up on's Unbelayvable: SCARY (AND TRUE) TALES FROM A CRAG(DAM) NEAR YOU.

This is just Bad belaying/ anchor techniques. and is NOT the correct way to belay someone. People can get seriously injured if they chose to follow this example.

Would this belay hold in a fall situation ..."probably" but with a little more effort it could've been set up much better and safer.

For future reference a moving truck or car set up with a directional anchor and the guy holds a Grigri to put the biker on belay would've been the way to do it. Basically the same way you would set up a top rope route. Im assuming bothe of you were properly tied into a harness. This would also allow for more rope to be paid out and in the event of a fall it would absorb more of the impact and be safer. Also I hope you inspected that rail for any sharp edges!!!
  • 9 3
 this is not belaying. its simply a safety rope, they never claimed it was belaying (a totally different thing).
  • 7 1
 have you ever approached a glacier as a roped team of two or belayed on a glacier over crevasses? it's not that diffrent.
sure, they could have increased the safety arrangement.
  • 4 1
It is a form of belaying. And in this case not the proper technique.

it is a lot different because your not on a glacier where you fall to the ground and self arrest with an ice this situation the force of a fall could pull the "safety rope guy" up off his feet since the rail height is above his waist and potentially drag him up and over the rail

Not trying to be a dick here but given the location and convenience of rigging a safer anchor why wouldn't you???...Its not like you are out in the middle of a glacier.
  • 1 0
 @whatyousaid: as above, I don't believe this is not belaying. there is no variance in rope length, he's not climbing, there is nothing solid being tied off. the safety man isn't belaying him up or down off a fixed object (belaying), he's not climbing up or down. it's simply a safety rope. Similar as safety rope a roofer uses which we call 'fall arrest', exact same as a rope team in mountaineering. the only similarity is he is keeping a constant tension or lack thereof and his equipment is climbing equipment. he is not using it to lower or raise the rope, it's in a constant length and it's solely for safety fall arrest, not climbing up or down. thats my take on it as least, same as Cirest. I used to climb fwiw.

this is the correct term:

"Belay: A safety technique where a stationary climber provides protection by means of ropes, anchors and braking devices or techniques, to an ascending or descending partner. A static belay is when a fall is held fast. A dynamic belay is when a fall is brought to a gradual stop by allowing the rope to slide somewhat to not overload the anchor with the force of the fall. Static belay is often used on ice and rock where the anchors are bombproof and the pitch is near vertical. Dynamic belay is often used on snow where the anchors are questionable and the slope is angled enough the climber can slide a small distance without injury."

No anchors, not belaying. a body is not an anchor. even a running belay is anchored.
  • 3 0

I understand what your saying, I climb too and for many years.

in the event of a fall, big man attached to the rope is most definitely an anchor. and when he has to rescue the biker he will most definitely have to build an anchor and haul system to rescue the biker

Given the circumstance a directional anchor mounted to a moving vehicle and essentially putting the biker on top rope would've been the right thing to do IMO.
  • 2 0
 @whatyousaid: I agree that is was a bit dangerous. but that dude does look like he weighs a good amount more than him. and agree, there would be a transition from rope team to belay in the instance of a fall.

car handy would have been ideal too, at the very least to pull him up.
  • 1 0

yeah I'm sure this will work but there is a better much safer way.

also maybe I'm over thinking it, but the fact that the top of the rail is above his waist the direction of the pull from the rope in the event of a fall would be upwards compared to someone falling into a hole on a glacier where the rope would be pulling you downwards where you have to fall to the ground to self arrest.

anyways good discussion! food for thought.
  • 1 0
 @whatyousaid: thats true, it would pull up on the guy. even a second safety for the team would extend safety greatly
  • 10 2
 I'll tell you how he rode that dam wall....with HUGE balls of steel!!!
  • 29 0
 Large testicles lower your center of gravity.
  • 1 0
 Not sure that's an asset after all.
  • 11 5
 for anyone thinking of trying this: do NOT just rope yourself to one dude. Minimum of one dude with a belay device and a backup belayer. Better would be roped to a vehicle
  • 87 1
 Thanks mate I'll consider that for next time.
  • 9 2
 @JakeWI: British humour at its finest chum! Love it!
  • 7 2
 If he fell , wouldn't the guy on the rope plough head first into the railings , probably knock himself out and be stuck there til some unlucky bod came buy ?
  • 6 0
 this shit even made espn top plays!
  • 3 1
 which is exactly why he did it. Celebration of the spectacle, not his awesome skills. The publicity stunt is bigger than the actual stunt.
  • 4 1
 Where were the safety Nazi's when he road an old beat up cruiser down proper DH trails??? I think there was a higher potential of injury in the filming of that vid. Just saying.
  • 6 2
 Hands down.. huge balls.. but pushing the limits of what?
  • 4 2
 exactly. Would this be on pink bike if it was an 8cm rail 2 feet off the ground? We love to talk about the pros using their expertise and judgment to mitigate risk, but this is the exact opposite. *all* he added was risk to something that was otherwise pretty mundane. Lots of guys can ride a rail on their bike. If I fluke out and ride a 400m high railing am I twice as good as Fabio? uhmm... no, no I'm not.
  • 4 1
 @plyawn: it's not an 8cm rail 2 feet off the ground, it's 200m off the ground, risk like that makes things harder. If it's so easy to do and so unremarkable why is the internet not flooded with videos of people doing it? Look at the views he got what an easy way to get recognition why doesn't everyone just do this really easy thing?
Because it's not easy. Adding the risk factor changes a lot.
  • 9 0
 @plyawn: Have you ever jumped a tabletop and then chickened out on the same size gap jump? Please tell me more how mental toughness does not make one a better athlete.
  • 2 1
 A candidate for the DARWIN award along with some of the SME' minions that elude to their awesome rope skills. Some of you Made this village idiot's day. Thank you Humbly, pffft, shart, grin.......... Dirtchurner
  • 4 0
  • 1 0
 Hopefully the safety rope had engineered-in elasticity to reduce the ramp-up shock Fabio and the belayer would experience. Sick and crazy - love it.
  • 4 2
 Inb4 the internet safety squad
  • 3 1
 Some just don't get sense of humour !...
  • 1 1
 I'm glad to see some sense put into this. First time I saw this video, I thought it was straight up borderline suicide attempt...
  • 2 0
 More balls than i. Much respect
  • 4 5
 Wow - mad respect. I'm glad he felt safer with the "safety rope" but if it went bad, it looks to me like you'd have 2 fatalities. Let's not get anyone killed, m'kay?
  • 1 0
 Base rig would be a must incase of a slip.
  • 1 0
 if he died the other guy would be in trouble.
  • 1 1
 Fairly sure if he'd had fallen, that guy holding the rope wouldn't have done much. They both might have died.
  • 1 0
 Jesus so that means he FELL off there 6 times! Yikes.
  • 1 3
 Aww the rope kinda kills it for me. Like using a moto for a tow in, an engineer to calculate how fast to go, or a condom to ruin a fvck. :/
  • 2 3
 I'm not gonna wear my helmet down trails, see if it makes me better...
Below threshold threads are hidden

Copyright © 2000 - 2022. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.016661
Mobile Version of Website