That's American climber Sasha DiGiulian in the above photo, ascending Waterval Bowen in South Africa, which is just one of the many gorgeous places on Earth that very few people will experience as up close as DiGiulian has. Below are 11 more amazing cliffs, mountains, ice cliffs and vertiginous rock formations, and some of the best climbers in the world conquering them, including DiGiulian, Will Gadd, Stefan Glowacz, David Lama and Sarah Hueniken. Warning: The photos might induce vertigo.
Nameless Tower, Pakistan
The Nameless Tower is located in the Karakoram Himalayas. It is more than 20,000 feet high and treacherous, but to pro climbers like David Lama (pictured), "the Himalayas are just one huge playground."
East Trinity, Canada
These are the Sea Stacks at Petty Harbor in Newfoundland, Canada. “These are terra incognita – nobody has climbed these things,” said climber Will Gadd, pictured. "We don’t know how to get on them, we don’t know how to get off them… we don’t even know if they’ll stay standing!"
Helmcken Falls, Canada
This the world's most challenging mixed climb. Again, it's Will Gadd in the photo. “It's the gnarliest mixed route in the world – a line I've long wanted to do but couldn't figure out how,” said Gadd. “This place can kill you faster than most climbing areas if you don't bring a solid game to the table.”
Helmcken Falls, Canada (Part 2)
The Falls are so impressive we thought we'd provide another perspective -- the water, which doesn't stop flowing all winter. Said Gadd, “To climb this route takes not only the climbing effort, but also just unearthing the holds, scraping the new rime and spray ice off the upper pitches, belaying for hours in the spray while a waterfall thunders just over your shoulder!”
Majlis Al Jinn, Oman
In March, Stefan Glowacz (pictured) and Chris Sharma became the first climbers to climb out of the infamous Majlis Al Jinn cave in Oman. “It’s simply an incredible experience to climb Majlis al Jinn,” said Glowacz. “The route’s type and character are unique. To climb from the bowels of the earth back into the light is one of the most impressive things I’ve done.”
Moab is home to two of the most spectacular national parks in the country: Arches and Canyonland. In Arches National Park, there are more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, which also make for breathtaking photography, such as this shot of Will Gadd.
Located in British Columbia, Squamish is known as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada. That means you can camp, or, if you're Will Gadd, you can free climb between rocks.
La Gran Sabana, Venezuela
A vast savanna that extends toward two countries, La Gran Sabana boasts some of the world's most impressive plateaus, including the Tepui Roraima, which rises more than 9,000 feet above sea level. Stefan Glowacz is no stranger to Roraima, which requires a long arduous trek just to get to.
The Mediterranean coast of Turkey is one of the most gorgeous seasides in the world, with stunning rock cliffs. In 2011, Antalya provided the landscape for the Red Bull Psicobloc climbing competition.
Ural Mountains, Russia
The mystical rock formations in a remote part of the Ural Mountains tower 100 feet above the Man-Pupu-Ner Plateau. They're called the Seven Giants. "It took us almost seven days of skiing to reach the plateau and two more days to climb on the ‘Elder Brother’, the biggest of the Giants," said Stefan Glowacz (pictured). "Man-Pupu-Ner is a unique place, and it's incredible that I was able to visit it.”
Famous for its ice falls, Eidfjord is also known as the land of the Frost Giants. Impressive in their own right, the ice falls are more spectacular when lit with spotlights and flares. "One moment the icefall looked like a dripstone cave, the next like a Gothic cathedral," said Dani Arnold, who is pictured.