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Ice Climber Discovers Impact of Climate Change on Kilimanjaro Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

11 September 2020

Red Bull has released The Last Ascent, a free 45-minute film that begins with ice climber Will Gadd's first trip to Kilimanjaro in 2014, which he left in awe of the mountain's unique glacier formations.

More importantly, Gadd learned then that these massive ice sculptures on Africa's highest peak were quickly declining and could completely disappear in just a few years.

So in February and Gadd traveled back to Kilimanjaro planning to be the last person to climb the famous Messner route before it melts away forever. Instead, after witnessing firsthand the ice decline of Kilimanjaro, Gadd left in shock with a newfound responsibility to educate others on the global impacts of climate change.

"The thing about this trip that is most important to me is to show people this change in a way that a graph and a newspaper can't," Gadd said. "We think of climate change as being a relatively slow process, but just five years made a world of difference up there. When you look at the cumulative effects of what we saw, it's quite fast. I always thought of climate change as a future problem. It's going to be a lot faster, at times, than we think it is."

Scientists estimate that these glaciers have lost upwards of 70 percent of their mass since Gadd's first journey up Kilimanjaro. Comparing the human-scale imagery captured of Gadd's ascent in 2014 with, it reveals a stunning juxtaposition of just how quickly the ice has disappeared.

To view the film, visit Red Bull's adventure documentary The Last Ascent.

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