If you’re not mentally fried after a day out in the mountains then you’re not thinking enough about it.
Canadian Will Gadd hit the headlines when he became the first person in the world to ice climb Niagara Falls. With the 100mph water still thundering down by the side of him, the X-Games star climbed 45 metres of snow and ice to the top of the world famous waterfall. However, this is just one of the death defying challenges has made the ice climber, kayaker and paraglider a hero in the extreme sports world. Other adventures include flying a paramotor across the USA, winning the Ice Climbing World Cup and kayaking numerous first descents in North America. We speak to him about what he has learnt during some of his unique winter adventures…
MY FAVOURITE CLIMB
Is the next one. The past is nice, but it’s the future that is most exciting, fun, and spectacular to plan. I’m sure my next climb will be my favourite ever, or I wouldn’t be organising it.
THE CLIMB WHERE I LEARNT THE MOST
Every single one. The world is a massively complex and interesting place to be part of. Every time I go out climbing I have to adapt to the world, understand it, find the safe places, keeping teams safe, and come back. I’m always mentally fried after climbing or flying; if you’re not mentally tired after a day out in the mountains or doing anything important then you’re not thinking enough about it.
YOU HAVEN’T LOST IF YOU TURN AROUND
Turning around is a big part of ultimately succeeding in high-risk environments. If you don’t turn around when conditions are terrible you can get killed, and then you don’t get to succeed. To succeed you’ve got to have an inspiring but realistic goal, a good team, and appropriate resources. Many of the trips I do are dangerous, difficult, and uncomfortable—you couldn’t pay people to do what I do, they have to believe in the goal and be totally committed to executing it.
WHAT I’M MOST PROUD OF
I’m not really proud of my climbs, I’m more proud that my teams and I figured out a way to do something cool and then went and did it together and came back in one piece. If there’s anything about my climbing, flying or paddling adventures that I’m truly proud of it is that no one has been seriously hurt or killed.
WHAT I PLAN TO DO NEXT
Top secret! The world is an amazing place, so much to do. I’m always looking for adventures.
See Will Gadd’s Historic Climb