Hot on the heels of the release of Autana – the film of his Venezuelan adventure to the tepui Cerro Autana – climber and adventurer Leo Houlding has announced details of his next expedition. In December, he will lead a team to Antarctica and make an attempt on a new route on the north east ridge of Ulvetanna. Houlding has described his objective as “the last great climb” and he will tackle it with a team that includes Sean Leary, Jason Pickles, David Reeves, Chris Rabone and film-maker Alastair Lee.
Ulvetanna (“the wolf’s tooth” in Norwegian) is located at 71° 51’0” South, 8° 20‘ 0” East in the Orvin Fjell mountains of Queen Maud Land, eastern Antarctica. At 2,930m, it is the most technically demanding peak on the harshest continent. The north east ridge extends for 2,000m, presenting 1,300m of vertical ascent. The expedition is expected to last 50 days and is being sponsored by Berghaus. Houlding and his team have been preparing for months, during which time they have helped the company develop and test a collection of cold weather products that will be used in Antarctica.
Leo Houlding says: “Since I first heard of this otherworldly peak more than a decade ago I have dreamed of amassing the skill, strength and support necessary to reach this most elusive mountain. Ulvetanna presents me and my team with a truly formidable challenge, which is exactly what draws us to it. After long preparation, our goal it is finally upon the horizon. I have assembled a first-class crew and between us we now have a wealth of relevant experienced. Crucially, during the last year, Berghaus, my team and I have gone to new lengths to develop, test and refine the very best kit required for this most extreme adventure.”
During the trip, Houlding will also be participating in an innovative education initiative that will see students from six schools follow the team’s progress ‘live’ as part of their curriculum. The result of a unique partnership between the Adventure Learning Schools (ALS) charity and individual schools, it is hoped that the project will inspire hundreds of youngsters. Houlding has collaborated with ALS and school staff to develop content for students, covering essential considerations that will keep the climbers alive on their expedition, ranging from logistics and planning to nutrition and dealing with the extreme climate.
Houlding: “I am really looking forward to both the expedition and the opportunity turn it into something that benefits young people. Working with Adventure Learning Schools is something that is very close to my heart and I recall very well the excitement of hearing about this kind of expedition when I was a kid. Ulvetanna offers so many opportunities to pass on rich learning to young people, from the mathematics of food rationing and calorie intake to the science behind the new Berghaus Hydrodown technology in our insulated clothing.”
Houlding and his team will leave the UK in mid December and will be sending back regular updates from Antarctica. Details of the expedition can be found at www.berghaus.com/ulvetanna and the latest news will appear as a blog on the site and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/berghaus). Reports from the expedition team members and relating to the trip will also be grouped on Twitter under #Ulvetanna.