Calling it one of the highlights of his life, professional extreme athlete Will Gadd this week became the first person to scale a frozen section of Niagara Falls

"The power of the falls is staggering," Gadd told NatGeo after making the 150-foot climb. "It vibrates your intestines and makes you feel very, very small. I've never experienced anything like it."

Gadd and his climbing partner Sarah Hueniken, who completed the same route immediately after him, took part in the stunt in partnership with Red Bull. The pair scaled a 30-foot-wide piece of the Horseshoe Falls, one of the world's most powerful waterfalls. While the climb itself took less than an hour, the bureaucracy involved in acquiring the right permits took almost eight months. When the time finally arrived, Gadd said the most difficult part of the climb was finding a safe route and using the right people. 

"Because this is Niagara Falls, there is a lot of water involved," he told USA Today. "The ice moves the water to the side and keeps parts of the ice dry, so if those small ice stems moved, I could get the entire weight of Niagara Falls on my head."

Gadd added to that he was hypothermic by the end of the climb because of the massive amount of spray he received from the 150,000 tons of water flowing by him each minute. 

"I was so close to the water, I could reach out and stick my ice tool in the Niagara Falls," he said. "At one point I was behind the water, climbing on ice that froze behind the falls. I got a whole lot of Niagara down my neck!"

Check out Gadd's historic climb below. 

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Ice climber Will Gadd becomes first to scale Niagara Falls
With support from his climbing partner Sarah Hueniken, Gadd makes it to the top of Horseshoe Falls in less than an hour.