With limited means of communication, the much anticipated news has finally arrived that Leo Houlding has successful led a team of five to complete the first ascent of the Mirror Wall in remote Greenland.
In a quote from Houlding, he describes the Mirror Wall as, “Such a huge wall – taller than El Cap. So blank and smooth you can almost see your reflection. So steep and featureless, so remote and hazardous. Guarded by a crevassed glacier, towering seracs and a loaded snow slope…”
The team consisted of Houlding, Joe Möhle, Matt Pickles, Matt Pycroft and Waldo Etherington, and although the technical difficulty of the route mixed with poor weather forced the team to aid climb two pitches, they free climbed 23 of the 25 pitches and spent 12 nights on the wall, topping out in a snow storm at 4:20am on 22 July.
The team was dropped off on Edward Bailey Glacier in Greenland on 25 June and had to deal with illness and crevasse falls, as well as having their cached supplies stolen by polar bears. The climb itself proved no less difficult with wind, freezing rain and snow hampering them throughout the climb.
Congratulations to the whole team!