Leo Houlding and Team arrive in Guyana Press Release

After leaving from various locations earlier this week, the full team safely reached Guyana – Leo Houlding, Anna Taylor, Waldo Etherington, Wilson Cutbirth, Matt Pycroft and Dan Howard.

The team - (l-r) Wilson Cutbirth, Waldo Etherington, Leo Houlding, Anna Taylor, Matt Pycroft, Dan Howard  © Coldhouse Collective
The team - (l-r) Wilson Cutbirth, Waldo Etherington, Leo Houlding, Anna Taylor, Matt Pycroft, Dan Howard
© Coldhouse Collective

The first two days in country (6 and 7 November) were mostly spent "faffing", an essential process before heading into the jungle. Bags were repacked ready for each stage of the mission. The logistics are incredibly complex, with a lot of the equipment being packed into haul bags ready to throw out of a plane and parachuted to the base of the wall (all being well). The rest of the kit (including an essential special delivery of local rum) was made ready to take to Philippi, where Leo will distribute it to a series of porters to be walked the 50 miles through the jungle. Some of the team spent the first evening at the airport meeting the pilots and beginning to prepare for the drop, which should happen today.

A four person job to lift the finished package onto the truck ready to load into the Skytruck  © Coldhouse Collective
A four person job to lift the finished package onto the truck ready to load into the Skytruck
© Coldhouse Collective

There was more faffing yesterday and the team had a lot of work to do, strapping the drop loads together, and then rigging the parachutes to the bags. It took a while, as it all had to be done precisely and perfectly. Leo and Waldo have spent hours/days/weeks developing all of the systems, and the parachutes were custom made and packed for the job. Early on in her first expedition, Anna's passion and enthusiasm for all of the details is evident. She seems to be unphased by what they're all about to go and do, while simultaneously accepting that it's going to be difficult for everyone and, for her, a massive learning curve.

Special delivery in advance of the drop, local rum  © Coldhouse Collective
Special delivery in advance of the drop, local rum
© Coldhouse Collective

Anna may be new to expeditions, but she knows that's not how you unspool cord  © Coldhouse Collective
Anna may be new to expeditions, but she knows that's not how you unspool cord
© Coldhouse Collective

Anna is not the only person experiencing something very new. During his briefing with Leo, the pilot of the aircraft that will drop the kit listened to the full plan and then commented with a big smile: "I've flown through these jungles all my life. I've flown passengers all over, and have had soldiers jump out of my plane, but this is new stuff for me."

The team is now jungle bound, so communications are likely to be less frequent and comprehensive.

Leo briefing the pilot  © Coldhouse Collective
Leo briefing the pilot
© Coldhouse Collective

The intended drop zone  © Coldhouse Collective
The intended drop zone
© Coldhouse Collective




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