PHOTOS: Ulvetanna Expedition - Leo Houlding

Last week we reported the breaking news that Leo Houlding and team had succeeded on their expedition to climb a new route on Ulvetanna in Antarctica.

Leo climbing on the headwall  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
Leo climbing on the headwall
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus

We now have more details and excellent photos from Berghaus:

British climber and adventurer Leo Houlding has led an international team to success on the first ascent of a major new route on the remarkable Antarctic peak, Ulvetanna (2930m). Widely considered to be the most demanding peak on the harshest continent, the mile long north east ridge of the mountain has been described as one of "the last great climbs". The team included Sean Leary (USA), Jason Pickles (UK), David Reeves (South Africa), Chris Rabone (UK) and award winning film-maker Alastair Lee (UK).

Ulvetanna ("the wolf's tooth" in Norwegian) is the jewel in the crown of the FenrisKjefeten ("the wolf's jaw") range of mountains of Queen Maud Land, eastern Antarctica. After months of preparation, the expedition began in late December, sponsored by British outdoor brand Berghaus.

The route on Ulvetanna  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
The route on Ulvetanna
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus

Leo Houlding commented:

"Ulvetanna's fearsome north east ridge allowed us safe passage up and down from her summit, but not without showing a few teeth. We're back in base camp with all our stuff, the weather is great again and we're all loving life.

This landscape of endless white desert and giant rock fangs is totally out of this world. At times in truly brutal conditions, we have all been pushed to our limits. We have taken a beating, but come out on top – well, back at the bottom thankfully!

We have just completed the first ascent of one of the world's last great climbs and are all suitably psyched. A decade of dreaming, a year of planning, a month on the ice, and a week on the wall and we have done it. It's a dream come true - nice one boys!"

A detailed account of the team's experiences can be found in the expedition blog.

PHOTOS: Ulvetanna Expedition

photo
The headwall was overhanging in places
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
The north east ridge of Ulvetanna  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
The north east ridge of Ulvetanna
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
Basecamp, with Ulvetanna in the background, 5km away  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
Basecamp, with Ulvetanna in the background, 5km away
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
L-R - Alastair Lee, Sean Leary, Chris Rabone, Leo Houlding, Jason Pickles  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
L-R - Alastair Lee, Sean Leary, Chris Rabone, Leo Houlding, Jason Pickles
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
Climbing on the headwall leading to the summit  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
Climbing on the headwall leading to the summit
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
photo
A small portion of the wall to give an idea of scale
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
Alastair Lee's much-anticipated film, The Great Last Climb  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
Alastair Lee's much-anticipated film, The Great Last Climb
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
Summit reference photo  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
Summit reference photo
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
The team on the summit. Back - Leo (left) and Sean; front - Jason (left), Chris and Alastair  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
The team on the summit. Back - Leo (left) and Sean; front - Jason (left), Chris and Alastair
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
The view of the range  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
The view of the range
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus
The weather turned very cold and windy in the final days of the expedition  © Alastair Lee / Berghaus
The weather turned very cold and windy in the final days of the expedition
© Alastair Lee / Berghaus


Leo Houlding is sponsored by DMM and Berghaus


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31 Jan, 2013
That looks amazing, top effort!
31 Jan, 2013
I'm just amazed at the ability to climb with bare hands at temperatures of -17°C. I get hot aches in the UK summer if the rock's cold.
31 Jan, 2013
Great stuff - looks stunning and I'm sure it required huge amounts of mental and physical endurance. Anyone know if they climbed this free on trad gear, and any tentative grades given?
31 Jan, 2013
There is a grade on one of the photos. E6 6b 5.12 A2 (C2). No idea why there is both an aid and a clean aid grade [shrugs]. Looks incredible. I wonder how much it would cost to kind of cut this thing off at the bottom and transport it to Scotland somewhere. Plonking it down just outside Livingston would be pretty good for accessability.
31 Jan, 2013
that would suggest one or two aid pitches amongst the free climbing. I'm shocked at them climbing this as a rock climb. I think most parties would have been mixed climbing at those temps.
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