Climbing Frozen Waterfalls
Rule number 1: be very brave
Rule number 2: don’t suffer from fear of heights
Rule number 3: be resistant to cold
We are talking about a very unusual sport. Lovers of this sport take up the challenge of climbing frozen waterfalls.
When the temperature goes down to several degrees below zero, rivers stop flowing and waterfalls turn into huge sheets of ice. These enormous columns of ice caught the imagination of a French mountain-climber who, about 20 years ago, decided to try climbing them. To climb the ice he put a couple of crampons on his feet and carried two ice-axes.
Then, a little nervous, he began … to climb the waterfall. Slowly he managed to climb a few metres.
“It’s not difficult!” he thought while he was catching his breath. “Tomorrow I’ll come back with a rope and try to reach the top”.
Thus, a new sport was born.
In recent years, it has been very successful and has spread all over the world.
This risky and exciting sport attracts a lot of young people.
To practise it though, you must know climbing techniques well and most importantly you must know about ice.
Sometimes, if the temperature rises a few degrees, entire walls of ice, 40 metres wide, can become detached and crash to the ground.
For this reason, it’s very important always to find out about the conditions and thickness of the ice before climbing a waterfall. If the ice makes any strange noises while you’re climbing, it’s better to come down quickly and put off challenging the waterfall until another day.
From Speak Out 4-5, 1999