Talented hard enduro riders are extremely engaging to watch, whether it’s a style of riding you personally do, or not. They’re not too dissimilar from mountaineers in that way. Even if you don’t necessarily do the same sport they’re doing, it’s still cool to see someone accomplish it. What if you’re a talented hard enduro rider, and you spend your time trying to achieve a new world altitude record up a mountain on your bike? Then, you just might be Pol Tarrés.
We’ve seen Tarrés perform some magical, gravity-defying feats before, and on more than one occasion. What’s he up to this time? Oh, nothing much, just attempting to ride his Yamaha Ténéré 700 up to the peak of Cerro Mercedario, approximately 7,000-ish meters above sea level. No, we’re not kidding—as you’ll see in this video.
Rising to such an altitude is a significant challenge for both man and machine. See, there’s a funny thing we mammals like to do that’s called ‘breathing air.’ Our bodies require a certain amount of oxygen or we, uh, don’t do so well. If you haven’t ridden at altitude before, ask anyone who has and they’ll tell you all about the possibility of fueling issues on their bikes, too.
Of course, that’s not the only thing that can happen to a bike being ridden under such demanding conditions. In Tarrés’ case, his T7’s tires bear the brunt of the rock- and gravel-strewn sides of the mountain as he and his determination power through their ascent. Luckily, he has a crew along to assist—both for himself, and for the bike.
The medical team makes sure he has oxygen to keep himself from having serious issues as he climbs the mountain, and also keeps checking his vitals to ensure that he’s physically fine. Meanwhile, the mechanics keep the bike in decent shape so it can do what they’ve set out to do: Achieve a new world altitude record for a twin-cylinder motorcycle.
Most of the footage in this video is shot from Tarrés cockpit as he climbs, and the whole thing looks both impressive and brutal. Although the team faces some setbacks (such as the unexpected tire munching) along the way, on March 14, 2022, Pol and the T7 managed to reach an altitude of 6,157.5 meters above sea level (approximately 20,201.77 feet) before turning around and descending. While they did set a new record, they didn’t quite reach Mercedario’s peak—this time, anyway. There’s always next time, though!