Gallery: Staveley adventurer Leo Houlding scales one of the last great unclimbed rock faces in Antarctica (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Gallery: Staveley adventurer Leo Houlding scales one of the last great unclimbed rock faces in Antarctica
9:40am Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
STAVELEY daredevil Leo Houlding has scaled one of the last great unclimbed rock faces in one of the most hostile places on Earth.
The ‘fearsome’ Ulvetanna stands a majestic 2,930m above sea level in the icy Orvin Fjell mountains of Queen Maud Land, Eastern Antarctica, where temperatures regularly plummet to a blisteringly cold -35 C.
Leo and his five-man team climbed the north east ridge which includes a jaw-dropping 1,100m vertical ascent that had never been attempted before.
The team, which arrives home on Sunday after the 50-day expedition, reached the summit of ‘Wolf’s Tooth’ last Thursday.
Speaking from base camp after a three-day descent, Leo said: “We have just completed the first ascent of one of the world’s last great climbs and are all suitably psyched.
“A decade of dreaming, a year of planning, a month on the ice, and a week on the wall and we have done it.
“Ulvetanna's fearsome north east ridge allowed us safe passage up and down from her summit, but not without showing a few teeth.
“This landscape of endless white desert and giant rock fangs is totally out of this world.
“At times in truly brutal conditions, we have all been pushed to our limits. We have taken a beating, but come out on top – well, back at the bottom thankfully!”
The adventurer was joined by film-maker Al Lee, Sean Leary, Jason Pickles, David Reeves and Chris Rabone.
The expedition began in December.
They spent a month on the ground acclimatising to the freezing temperatures of Antarctica before taking ten days to climb the mountain.
Despite 20-hour days, raging winds and a 1,500kg load to haul, they are the first to successfully negotiate the ridge – and only the fifth to stand on top of the peak.