Incredible moment ice climber survives 60ft fall when frozen pillar collapses (photos)


Incredible images have captured the moment a wall of ice snaps sending a climber tumbling to the ground surrounded by tonnes of ice in Canada.

John Freeman survived one of the craziest ice climbing falls ever recorded when a pillar of ice he was climbing detached from the cliff face.

Using only ice tools and crampons, John was attempting a solo climb of the vertical ice wall until a misplaced tool shattered the ice, causing the entire frozen face to cascade to the ground.


John, a climbing guide from Canmore, Alberta, Canada, was miraculously only winded when he fell from 60ft up the steep cliff face to the floor.

He told Caters News: "It was a warm day, we got a good sense like it was a healthy piece of ice there - and we wanted to climb.

"I walked up to the ice and it was super thin, it wasn't even as wide as my shoulders, I had to climb very delicately, it was intense.


"I could feel the climb move under me, I had never encountered that before.

"It was fast - the tool struck the ice and I immediately felt that I was moving, I didn't realise what was happening.

"I could hear the ice breaking and I realised the whole thing was collapsing and there was nothing I could do about it.

"The sharp pieces of ice were digging into my body as I was sliding along the ground and I just waited for it to stop - and I was alive."

World's most extreme holiday activities
See Gallery
Incredible moment ice climber survives 60ft fall when frozen pillar collapses (photos)

Bolivia is the highest, most isolated and most rugged nation of South America - so it's a brilliant choice for thrill-seekers. Take a 14-night tour that begins in the bustling capital, La Paz, then embarks on a four-night four-wheel drive tour of the world’s largest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni, which is 10582 square kilometres (4086square miles) before visiting the world’s highest city, Potosi, sitting at an altitude of 4090 metres above sea level. You'll then head to the beautiful colonial town of Sucre and end the tour with five days in the jungle and rainforest. Visit

Never mind Alton Towers, you'll find the fastest roller coaster in the world, the Formula Rossa, at the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. The world’s largest indoor theme park, it was created around the classic double-curve body shell design of a Ferrari car. As well as the  Formula Rossa, which powers to 240 kmh in less than five seconds, the park also features over 20 thrilling rides and attractions. Visit

Take a sailing trip on Lake Titicaca, the highest in the world, where you can also visit the native Uros people, who live on reed islands floating on the water. As well as boat trips, you can give kayaking, and mountain biking a go, and, while you're in Peru, it would be scandalous to miss out on the most spectacular ancient ruins in the world, Machu Picchu, ancient home of the famous Incas. Visit

Got a head for heights? You'll need one for the world's highest bungee jump at Macau Tower, which takes you on a free fall at a speed of up to 200kmph from a height of 233 metres. You'll experience a four to five second freefall before stretching the 50 metre bungee cord nearly four times its unloaded length and rebounding at approximately 30 metres above the ground. Thanks to a  guide cable system, you'll safely experience a few rebounds before slowly landing onto a specially designed airbag below. We can feel our nerves jangling already… Visit

At the heart of Mongolia's Altai Tavan Bogd (Five Holy Peaks), Mount Khuiten is one of the least accessible mountains on earth. This massif lies on the border with both Russia and China, 2000 kilometres (1250 miles) west of the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. After sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar and enjoying a day's preparatory trekking in the nearby Bogdkhan National Park, take a journey to the remote Kazakh province of Bayan Olgii. Starting out with the straightforward trek to the summit of Malchin (4037m / 13,245ft), you'll get dramatic views of the Potaniin Glacier and of your subsequent climbing objectives; the steep and challenging Mount Khuiten (4374m / 14,350ft) and the easier, non-technical snow dome of Nairandal (4082m / 13,392ft). Visit

Saas-Fee in Switzerland is set in a spectacular location surrounded by the highest mountains in the Swiss Alps and is one of the world's most beautiful ski resorts. But its claim to fame is that it's home to the world’s highest revolving restaurant on the mountain at Mittelallalin. Set at a spectacular 3,500m, you can experience a different magnificent view with starters, main and dessert as the restaurant revolves 360 degrees. You can choose anything from the classic steaming cheese fondues to the fabulous ‘Roesti’ potato dishes served with local meats, washed down with excellent white, rose and red local wines. Visit

Seeking the ultimate thrill but don't want to do it on your own? Try the world's highest tandem skydive in Orlando - and share the terror! Orlando Skydiving or Skydive Space Centre offers the jump, which drops you a stomach-churning 18,000 feet (5,486 metres), and offers views over the Atlantic Ocean and the Kennedy Space Centre. See

This unusual adventure holiday involves cycling over the Indian Himalayas to the Ladakhi capital of Leh, visiting Buddhist monasteries as you go, as well as whitewater rafting on the River Indus. Then, after a necessary acclimatisation process, take on the challenging ascent to (and speedy descent from) the Khardung La, which is the world's highest road pass, at 5380 metres. Leaving Leh, this giant rollercoaster ride to Manali follows what is unquestionably one of the greatest mountain roads on the planet. The Leh to Manali highway crosses the main Himalaya Range by a series of very high passes, including the Taglang La (5280m), the second highest road pass in the world. Visit

Take a trip on the highest cable car in the world, located in Kashmir. The lift provides the easiest way to reach one of the highest points on Earth without a rope! The Gulmarg Gondola is Asia's highest and longest cable car project. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Afarwat Peak (4,200m (13,780ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski. The first stage transfers from the Gulmarg resort at 2,600m (8,530ft) to Kongdoori Station in the bowl-shaped Kongdori valley. The second stage of the ropeway, which has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes skiers to a height of 3,747m (12,293ft) on Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Afarwat Peak (4,200m (13,780ft)). Visit

At a height of 918ft, a length of 1.2 miles, and a speed of up to 100mph, the Unreal Zip 200 experience at South Africa's Sun City resort is the fastest, longest and highest zip line in the world. The extreme adventure is said to be more like a "flying" feeling than a "falling" one. Sun City is a tourist mecca, and can be three hours from Johannesburg, near the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Visit


Related articles

Naked climber scales Welsh peak

British man dies in 50ft cliff fall in South Korea
Read Full Story