“Niagara Falls is the coolest, wildest, largest volume waterfall in the world. It’s the best known waterfall in the world and as an ice climber, you gotta go do it. Just nobody figured out how to do it until pretty recently,” said the 47 year-old adventurer during an interview with CNN on Thursday (Feb. 19).
Part of the Horseshoe Falls had frozen over due to the sub-zero winter cold. The frozen water formed an icy path 30 feet (9 meters) wide and 150 feet (46 meters) high along the U.S. and Canadian border.
As Gadd picked and poked his way through the ice during the hour long climb, he was battered by ice spray as water from the powerful falls roared past him at 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour.
Watch below his full interview with CNN
Gadd is not the first adventurer attracted to the mighty Niagara Falls. In 1901, Annie Taylor became the first person ever to go over the waterfall in a wooden barrel. In 1859, the first tightrope walker crossed over the falls and in 2012, Nick Wallenda became the latest high wire artist to walk across Niagara Falls.
But Gadd said he is not simply a thrill seeker. “The reason I do these things is that they are intensely interesting. And they are fun. And they are exciting. And they are beautiful. And like anything in life that you find really meaningful and cool, it’s very, very rewarding.
If I just wanted to get a hit of adrenaline, I go run back and forth on the freeway. There has to be more to it than that! So for me, I like figuring out these really complex environments, how to operate in them and then how to operate in there safely.” Red Bull, the energy drink maker, sponsored Gadd’s climb to the top of Niagara Falls.
Watch below Gadd climbs the falls.