What's the closest he’s ever come to death? It’s a tricky question for a full-time “extremophile” like Wim Hof – so many choices! We’ve been here chatting in his kitchen in the wet north of the Netherlands all morning, and I’ve already counted 12 showstopping occasions that I wouldn’t have survived.
There’s the time he stood in a plexiglass box filled with ice for 112 minutes, and the time his cornea froze over while he was swimming under a sheet of ice in a lake near the Arctic Circle and he lost consciousness just as he was hauled out by his ankle by a rescue diver (all of which have contributed to his nickname, the Iceman).
He’s dangled by one finger from a rope suspended between two hot air balloons at 1,6km above ground (“With no shirt on”) and been lost in a whiteout running on Everest – “I was past the ‘death zone’, in nothing but my shorts.”