There are a few limit-pushing adventurous pursuits that, in an alternative universe in which I’m not a lazy and risk-averse blogger, I’m dying to attempt. Snowboarding in the Himalayas. Summiting Aconcagua. Whitewater rafting in the Zambezi River. Not on the list? Climbing the frozen face of Niagara Falls. But it’s a heck of a thing to see someone else do it.
Will Gadd, a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for 2014-2015, did the deed two weeks ago, becoming (along with fellow climber/daredevil Sarah Hueniken) the first climber to successfully summit the icy falls. Luckily, Red Bull was on hand to capture the historic feat on camera. The whole thing is amazing, but for my money, it’s the POV video recorded via Gadd’s helmet-mounted GoPro—featured above—that best captures the incredible climb in all its ridiculous, boundary-testing glory.
“The massive water flow constantly shakes the ground, and makes the ice shelves and walls around you unsteady and unpredictable,” he told the Red Bull crew after his ascent. “It’s a harsh environment and an intense challenge to stay attached to the wall, let alone climb it.”
Despite those conditions, Gadd was obviously successful, if a little hypothermic, thereby cementing his status as one of the world’s best ice climbers (and my utter lack of interest in attempting to ever climb a frozen waterfall). Well done, Will.