22 SEPTEMBER 2015
Cordon Rouge Club member Leo Houlding and a small British team have succeeded in ascending a previously unexplored line along the 1,200m granite Mirror Wall – described by some as ‘the single most impressive unclimbed wall in the whole of Greenland’. Ending on the day of Leo’s 35th birthday, this was his first major expedition since becoming a father.
The team kicked off on 25th June from the Edward Bailey Glacier, establishing base camp and deciphering a suitable route through a glacier. Most of their kit and supplies (totalling 200kg) had been shipped over by Tangent Expedition logistics in advance.
Conditions were undeniably challenging. Despite clear sunshine for the first fortnight, the remainder was epitomised by snow, sleet and hail. Aside from three birds, no other life form was seen over the five week expedition. Leo’s fellow climbers experienced sickness and diarrhoea from day two and Matt Pycroft, adventure filmmaker and photographer, had a serious crevasse fall. Nevertheless, admirable preparation, determination, skills and fitness ensured that the team both reached the top and descended in time to make the once-weekly flight to Iceland.
Now a father, Leo is far more conscious of danger and risk. This won’t hinder his climbing expedition goals though, for, in Leo’s words, ‘expressing myself in this landscape is a part of me’. We raise a glass of Mumm to Leo’s fantastic victory in Greenland.
To keep up to date with news from Leo Houlding visit www.leohoulding.com