FORTIS Brand Ambassador and pioneer of extreme rope access
Ivan Kristoff is one of the pioneers of extreme rope access of all time.
From exploring the undiscovered underground routes and galleries in caves, at the age of 15 years, to setting an aerial world record in 2003 – Ivan experienced many different challenges throughout his entire life.
He was born in 1968 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is half Bulgarian half Canadian. But most important he is a boundary breaker, an explorer, an innovator and a volunteer rescuer.
In 2003, at the peak of his professional interest in rope access work, he achieved many Worlds Firsts. One of them is the Highest Remote Access on the antenna of the Tallest Structure (2003) in the World – the CN Tower in Toronto. For the very first time the exterior work and repair of the antenna, for which no one, since it was built, had a solution has been done by Ivan.
But more complicated was the creation of new procedures that had to be designed to work at extreme hazardous and risky environment. Not only because of the winds and freezing cold weather conditions at that hight, but mainly because the Antenna is equiped with the most powerful TV, radio and other communication transmiters that need to be pointing towards satellites in space. That is why the safety team – engineers and the mangament of the CN Tower – made special preparations before Ivan started his work up there: Ivan got dressed in a special suit that minimizes the effects of microwave exposures.
Ivan is the first and only one working above the 500 meter benchmark in industrial rope access and super high buildings. After being up there, at the pinnacle of the highest hatch on Earth, in 2004 Ivan Kristoff realized that there is nothing more to go higher until somebody builds something taller.
But the Real life Spiderman, as the Canadian media calles him since 1995, knows: “Great power comes with great responsibility”. That is why Ivan uses new concepts for aerial access and helicopter operations to work on ropes or without ropes at extreme heights. In all his missions FORTIS is the proud companion for timekeeping his operations on the one side. On the other Ivan shares the watch new releases with the FORTIS network of pilots and cosmonauts.
But for the Bulgarian born and Canadian Kristoff, pioneering wasn’t always about setting new records and World’s Firsts. In 2005 Ivan decided that he can do more about rope access work and volunteer rescue for Highrise Emergency Aerial Response and Training (H.E.A.R.T.). He expanded his volunteer initiatives worldwide. He founded the very first volunteer aerial rescue organization, the Specialized Operations Service (S.O.S.) team in Bulgaria. During his sea, air, land and space trainings FORTIS watches have always been a part of it.
“Fortis was founded in the same year like the Bulgarian aviation and Fortis has left a significant footprint in the history of aviation and space exploration. Together we can oppen a new chapter. The over hundred years of history of the brand Fortis and me means a lot to me and spapes my path for a new way of marketing my innovative projects with epic images.” says Ivan Kristoff.