Don’t look down! Photographer snaps stunning pictures of thrill-seekers climbing Italian ice-covered Dolomites – while tethered to them

These are the jaw-dropping photographs that show man take on Mother Nature… including scaling a frozen waterfall.

Chiara Delfino on La spada di Damocle

Chiara Delfino on La spada di Damocle

Armed with ice hooks, mountaineering boots and a head for heights these plucky adventurers have been snapped tackling the Italian Dolomites by James Rushforth.

The award-winning photographer, who is originally from Worcester but now spends most of his time in the European Alps, captured the stunning images while tethered to his subject.

A climber ascends the thin ice of Cattedrale di Sinistra in Serrai di Sottoguda in the Italian Dolomites

A climber ascends the thin ice of Cattedrale di Sinistra in Serrai di Sottoguda in the Italian Dolomites

James, 29, said: “These pictures invoke a lot of special memories of superb days out and adventures with friends.

“There’s no better way of getting to know someone than sharing a length of rope on something scary!”

The incredible photos show climbers Francesco Cappellari, Chiara Delfino and Lynne Hempton ascending the ice-covered mountains at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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One climb included Spada nella Roccia in Serrai di Sottoguda which, back in the 80s, represented a breakthrough in ice climbing and was considered one of the hardest routes in the world.

James, who has recently completed a Dolomites climbing guide book, said he has a few more snaps of the scenic mountain range to capture before donning his climbing boots again and moving on to Patagonia.

A female climber ascending Col dei Bois via ferrata during the winter

A female climber ascending Col dei Bois via ferrata during the winter

He said: “The response to the pictures from the public has been staggering with an overwhelming number of messages received through social media and in particular my website.”

And when he’s not half-way up a mountain he’s busy penning a number of climbing and ski touring guidebooks.