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Conquering Philips Ladder Kayak the Svalbard Glacier

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In a historic feat, Catalan adventurer and elite kayaker Aniol Serrasolses (who has appeared on the cover of Adventure a few times) has conquered the world’s highest glacier waterfall drop in the Svalbard archipelago, Norway.

Aniol Serrasolses who has appeared in these pages many times with his crazy kayak lifestyle and embarked on a challenging expedition to the Svalbard archipelago, to one of the most remote places on earth, beginning with a 36-hour sea voyage from Longyearbyen to the Bråsvellbreen glacier.

The team, including kayakers David Sodomka, Aleix Salvat, and Mikel Sarasola, all undertook an 11-kilometer trek across the Arctic’s icy expanse to access the river leading to the glacial waterfall.

The team faced numerous obstacles throughout their journey, including climbing treacherous ice walls, navigating across streams and crevasses, and handling the unpredictable whitewater rivers sculpted in the Arctic ice.

Aniol Serrasolses paddles the Watson river, near Kangerlusuaq, Greenland on july 12, 2022 // David Sodomka / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202311180307 // Usage for editorial use only //

Facing the towering 20m glacial waterfall, Aniol Serrasolses initiated a descent that has secured him another first in kayaking history. Reflecting on the unprecedented descent, Serrasolses expressed his astonishment, saying, “It’s hard to find the words to explain this feeling. It’s like kayaking on another planet. Without a doubt, it’s the most unique kayak I’ve ever done in my life.”

Aniol Serrasolses watches a sea lion while paddling in The Actic Ocean near the Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard on August 4, 2023 // David Sodomka / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202311180312 // Usage for editorial use only //

Confronting such an unpredictable Arctic environment, and the decent called ‘Philips Ladder’, Serrasolses noted, “We were in a constantly changing environment, a unpredictable place. We knew how risky it was, but when you look around you, it all made sense.”

Aniol Serrasolses paddles the river on the Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard on August 7, 2023 // David Sodomka / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202311180319 // Usage for editorial use only //

Another key element in the success of this feat was the collaboration with Prada Linea Rossa, the creator of the technical gear Serrasolses used to face the harsh Arctic conditions. The garments selected by the athlete belong to the Italian label’s new Fall/Winter 2023 collection.

Aniol Serrasolses runs 20m tall waterfall from the Austfonna ice cap to the Arctic Ocean, Svalbard on August 8, 2023 // David Sodomka / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202311180316 // Usage for editorial use only //

This extraordinary feat will be showcased in ‘Ice Waterfalls,’ an upcoming documentary on Red Bull TV. The film promises to capture Serrasolses’ historic journey, offering a glimpse into the trials and triumphs of this unparalleled kayaking adventure.

 

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