ESPN The Magazine profiles ice climber Will Gadd.
Gadd stands at the base of the 40-foot-high frozen waterfall and looks up. He kicks footholds with his crampons and swings his axes overhead, driving the points deep into the ice. He pulls with his arms and pushes with his legs, then kicks his feet and swings the axes again. Within minutes he’s 20 feet above the ground and headed higher, without ropes or other protection in case his toes slip or the ice crumbles.