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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Leo Houlding to tackle Antarctica's most difficult mountain

Adventurer Leo Houlding aims to make history on an expedition that he says will be his greatest to date.

Leo Houlding photo
Leo Houlding

The Cumbrian adrenaline junkie is to lead an attempt to make the first ascent of the two-kilometre long north east ridge of the remote peak Ulvetanna in Eastern Antarctica.

And once at the summit, he will base jump from the 1,300-metre ridge.

Houlding, who grew up in the village of Bolton, near Appleby, has been at the centre of a string of death-defying adventures and challenges.

His upcoming next groundbreaking adventure will see him attempt to conquer a new route on Ulvetanna – a Norwegian name that translates to “the wolf’s tooth” - which is widely recognised as the most difficult mountain to climb in Antarctica.

Houlding said: “This expedition to make the first ascent of the remarkable north east ridge of Ulvetanna and base jump from the summit is set to be my greatest adventure to date. It is the most difficult peak to climb on the harshest continent.”

But Houlding will not be the only Cumbrian on the challenge – in spirit at least.

That’s because children from Carlisle’s Richard Rose Central Academy have signed up to support him as part of a partnership with the Adventure Learning Schools charity.

As part of it, Houlding, 32, has helped develop a special curriculum for pupils, covering essential considerations that keep the climbers alive on their expedition, ranging from logistics and planning to climate and nutrition.

Youngsters from Richard Rose have also presented him with a flag that will be displayed at his base camp.

The adventurer hopes his young supporters can learn from his experience.

“The extreme nature of our expedition, combined with the wondrous landscape of Queen Maud Land, really captivates pupils,” he added.

“There is so much rich learning involved with it, from the mathematics of food rationing and calorie intake to the science behind the new hydrophobic technology in our insulated clothing.”

“Adventure Learning is about much more than young people just going into the outdoors to discover themselves, though it is a crucial part of it.”

Other schools supporting him include Thomlinson Junior School in Wigton.

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