Ice climber scales some of the last remaining ice at the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro
A climber has scaled some of the last remaining ice on Africa’s highest mountain.
Will Gadd hiked for a week to reach the remote precipice on Mt Kilimanjaro, where estimates suggest the ice will disappear completely by 2020.
And pro ice climber Gadd scaled the steep, technical climb – all while at an altitude of 19,685ft.
He said: “I’ve climbed a lot of ice, but this was the last of it’s kind.
“The glaciers are just small remnants truly in their last gasp. I felt very lucky to be there.”
The team – consisting of Will Gadd, his climbing partner Sarah Hueniken, photographer Christian Pondella, and videographer Pablo Durana – had to cope with dozens of extreme challenges.
Everyone on the team had to battle altitude sickness, and even sleeping during the arduous hike to the summit proved hard.
Gadd said: “You’d just fall asleep and then wake up gasping for breath.
“We didn’t have weeks and weeks to acclimate to the altitude, it’s too expensive to stay on the mountain, so we definitely pushed ourselves physically. Fortunately it all worked out OK.”
By climbing several overhanging and vertical glacier remnants, each up to 200ft high, Gadd become one of the first people in the modern era – and possibly last – to scale the receding ice.
Gadd added: “It was the wildest ice I’ve ever seen.
“Ice fins sticking out of a desert of hot sand at 19,000 feet, overhanging prows that creaked while I climbed them, and so many wild possibilities blasted into crazy shapes by the high-altitude tropical sun.
“The ice I climbed was literally disappearing in front of my eyes. None of what I climbed will survive another month.
“Unfortunately, due to climate change, there won’t be any ice on Kilimanjaro in the near future.
“Kilimanjaro used to have ice over the entire summit plateau, but now there are only a few small glaciers remaining, and they are disappearing very fast.”