Sunday, 8 February 2015

Conquering the Niagara Falls
(Level: intermediate to upper-intermediate / B1 to B2 / ***)

Panoramic view of the Niagara Falls
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Numerous daredevils have always made attempts to ride down the Niagara Falls (*) but Will Gadd (**) is the first person ever to have climbed up them.

daredevil: a reckless, daring and bold person enjoying doing dangerous things despite the risks involved        casse-cou   

For more details about the Niagara Falls: click on Facts of the Niagara Falls
For more details about the daredevils: click on Daredevils of the Niagara Falls

For more details about Will Gadd: click HERE   (Will Gadd's website) 

Will Gadd's historic Niagara Falls ice climb at Terrapin Point
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The Niagara falls and Terrapin Point
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Terrapin Point
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You are now going to watch a CNN programme focusing on Will Gadd's feat. 

Before watching:

The following words could be useful:
ice hook: ice axe   piolet   
the outer shell of the frozen fall: external, visible part of it     partie externe, visible de la cascade de glace   
ice trunks: ice parts      des pans / blocs de glace 

While watching:

Answer the following questions:

1. What exactly did Will Gadd do?
2. How difficult is ice climbing, according to CNN weatherman Derek Van Dam?

You can also watch the video on the CNN website by clicking HERE

When you are finished, you can check your answers.

Will Gadd vient de réaliser un exploit inédit: il est parvenu à escalader les chutes du Niagara partiellement gelées - à trois reprises (une heure pour chaque escalade) - équipé seulement de crampons et de deux piolets. 

Entreprise difficile et risquée: la cascade n'est que partiellement gelée (la partie externe, visible). Dès lors, procéder à son ascension comporte des risques car la couche de glace susceptible d'accueillir les piolets est irrégulière et de gros blocs de glace peuvent céder à tout moment. L'alpiniste peut aussi recevoir des éclats de glace au visage, sans oublier les projections d'eau glacée... 

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