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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Cumbrian climber tells of 'brutal conditions' on Antarctica mission

Climber Leo Houlding has spoken for the first time about his conquest of one of Antarctica’s toughest peaks.

Leo Houlding photo
Leo Houlding climbs the headwall

Mr Houlding reached the summit of Ulvetanna, last Wednesday.

He and his team took a new route to the top, which is 9,613ft above sea level.

Mr Houlding, 32, from Bolton, near Appleby, said: “Ulvetanna’s fearsome north east ridge allowed us safe passage up and down from her summit, but not without showing a few teeth. We’re back in base camp with all our stuff, the weather is great again and we’re all loving life.”

He had planned to base jump from the summit but had to abandon this idea because of a strong wind.

Mr Houlding added: “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.”

Ulvetanna, which means ‘wolf’s tooth’ in Norwegian, is one of the most technically demanding of the peaks on the continent.

“We have just completed the first ascent of one of the world’s last great climbs and are all suitably psyched,” Mr Holding said.

“A decade of dreaming, a year of planning, a month on the ice, and a week on the wall and we have done it.”

Expedition blogs are at sponsor Berghaus’ website www.berghaus.com.

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