Gallery: Staveley adventurer Leo Houlding scales one of the last great unclimbed rock faces in Antarctica

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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.

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“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.

Comments (1)

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11:53pm Sat 2 Feb 13

JoshTheDog says...

Well done Leo and team.
Well done Leo and team. JoshTheDog
  • Score: 0

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