Frozen waterfall climbers

Ice climbing frozen waterfall

Daredevil climbers took advantage of falling temperatures to scale frozen waterfalls.

Cold weather over the weekend provided climbers with an irresistible challenge when waterfalls froze in place.

Daredevil climbers equipped with ice picks dodged deadly hanging ice curtains made of dagger-like icicles as they ascended the 70ft-tall structures.

Photographer Matthew Crowley, 34, spotted the daring mountaineers while out walking on the shore of Lake Superior in the USA on Saturday (JAN 17).

He said: “It looks terrifying – I wouldn’t try it myself unless there was something really good to photograph at the top.

“The guys doing it seemed really experienced.”

Ice climbers use ice axes and crampons to scale frozen water. The sport is considered to be extremely dangerous as ice is an unstable surface.

Climbers can determine the structural integrity of the ice by examining its colour. White ice is frozen solid and blue ice is in the process of melting so is less stable.

Mr Crowley, of Chicago, Illinois, said: “The waterfall wasn’t totally frozen so you could still hear the water trickling through it on the inside.

“The climbers had to test the stability of the wall by plunging their axes into it. If they struck a hollow section it sounded like a hammer going through drywall.

“They all wore hard hats as sometimes huge splinters of ice would fall from the waterfall and crash down below.”

Temperatures in Michigan dropped as low as minus four degrees celsius over the weekend.

More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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