Canada’s tallest waterfall, Della Falls, was summited for the first time ever by world-renowned Albertan ice climber and adventurer, Will Gadd.
Della Falls measures approximately 440 metres tall and is located in Vancouver Island’s Strathcona Park. The rushing water rarely freezes, making this year’s blizzardy winter ideal for Gadd, who had been waiting to climb the waterfall for three years.
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“Della Falls first ascent, what an adventure!” said Gadd in a Facebook post.
“Last week, Chris Jensen, Peter Hoang and I snuck a high-speed trip in and climbed Della Falls, the highest waterfall in Canada,” he said. “And, surprisingly, it’s on Vancouver Island.”
Gadd believes that its location on our island is one of the reasons why the waterfall has never been summited.
“Vancouver Island does not give up its secrets easily; never have my boots and head been so wet at the same time,” he added.
The challenges before the climb
While the climb itself was already difficult, the trek to get to the base of Della Falls was a challenge in and of itself.
With a tight window of just four days to fly to the island, boat across 35 kilometres of lake, hike 15 kilometres of trail, and establish camp at the base of the waterfall, Gadd had his work cut out for him.
Travelling with photographer and climber Pete Hoang and local ice climber “grizzlyman” Chris Jensen, Gadd made his way to Della Falls and completed the difficult ascent.
In total, it took the group two days to conquer seven pitches in bitterly cold conditions.
Will Gadd, also known as “Captain Adventure”, is a world-renowned ice climber and outdoorsman who’s ascended routes around the globe.
In 2014, Gadd was named National Geographic’s Adventurer of The Year and in 2015 he was the first person to summit a frozen Niagara Falls. He has also broken the world distance record for paragliding three times.