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Cumbrian adventurer Leo Houlding completes Antarctic expedition

The Spectre team reaches Union Glacier – l-r Leo Houlding, Mark Sedon, Jean Burgun – photo credit Berghaus

[C]umbrian climber and adventurer Leo Houlding has sent back his final report from the Antarctic to expedition partner Berghaus.

Along with colleagues Jean Burgun and Mark Sedon, Leo has safely reached Union Glacier, completing their journey of 1,700km over 57 days, with 31 separate camps.  During their time in the Antarctic, the three adventurers have man hauled and ski kited with loads of up to 200kg, spent days confined to their tent during raging storms, had close shaves with deep crevasses, spent Christmas and New Year thousands of miles from family and friends, and witnessed incredible solar phenomena.  They also all succeeded in reaching the summit of the most remote mountain on Earth, the Spectre, by a partly new route on its north face.

Ski kiting on the final day – photo credit Berghaus

Leo Houlding comments: “Suddenly it was done.  The toils and troubles, and wonder and joy, of the Spectre expedition, were immediately confined to memory – 50 days self-supported in the deep field, 1,600km by kite, 100km man-hauling, and we climbed the Spectre.  Best of all, Jean, Mark and I had a ball out there at the end of the Earth.  I couldn’t imagine a better pair of partners, nor a more challenging adventure.  It was really very tough, especially the first 20 days, but we kept enough in reserve, not only to stay safe, but to complete everything that we set out to do, and to do so smiling.  Our huge thanks go to our sponsors and trust donors – without their support, this adventure would never have happened.  And thanks to everyone who has been reading our updates and following us.  I hope that you enjoyed the ride and we were able to share something of this savage Antarctic wonderland.”

Leo (front) and Jean in ski kiting action on the final day of the Spectre expedition – photo credit Berghaus

You can read Leo’s full final report here, along with updates from throughout the expedition.  During their journey, the team captured a wealth of images and footage that will be released as a film in the autumn.  High resolution imagery and video tasters will be posted on the expedition and Berghaus websites in the near future.

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