2015 has been a good year for Will Gadd: Last week he took home top honors at the Ouray Ice Festival despite the fact that he’s still recovering from injuries sustained last season. And, along with American Gavin McClurg, he was named one of National Geographic’s 2015 Adventurers of the Year after paragliding 650-km over the Rocky Mountains from McBride, B.C. to the U.S. border.
But 2014 wasn’t bad either, and late in October, “Captain Adventure” headed to Africa to ice climb on the continent’s highest point: Mt. Kilimanjaro. Battling fast melting glaciers (“We would literally climb stuff that wouldn’t be there the next day,” Gadd told Red Bull) and the difficulty of climbing at 5,895 meters, Gadd became the first person to ice climb on Kilimanjaro using modern gear (Reinhold Messner ice climbed there in 1978).
Gadd has climbed around the world but said the rapidly disappearing ice set this trip apart: “I’ve climbed a lot of ice, but this was the last of its kind. The glaciers are just small remnants truly in their last gasp.”
Photos by Christian Pondella, courtesy of Red Bull.