Leo Houlding and his team have completed the latest stage of their trans-Antarctic Spectre Expedition
In November, Leo Houlding, Jean Burgun and Mark Sedon set out on an ambitious expedition with two aims: to climb a new route on the Spectre, one of the most remote mountains on Earth, and to complete a trans-continental traverse using traditional man-hauling techniques and modern snow-kiting technology.
The logistically complex expedition, in partnership with Berghaus, “aims to redefine modern exploration and adventure”. The Spectre is a 2,020m mountain in Antarctica’s Gothic Mountains, and the route Houlding’s team has selected is a 750m-high buttress.
The journey until now has been far from easy, with significant challenges from the terrain and the weather, but the team have now reached the Organ Pipe Peaks and are close to their main objective, the Spectre. On the final day of the 300km of pulk hauling, Leo had a disagreement with a crevasse, but emerged unscathed. The team has now set up a camp and is preparing to cache equipment and food for the journey out, before moving up to set up camp close to the base of the mountain. From there, the exploration and climbing of the Spectre itself will begin.
Leo Houlding said: “The Spectre briefly showed us her pretty side, basking in sun, flirting almost – she is a prize beauty so tempting to scale! Such an immaculate massif, the rock looks outstanding and there are lines everywhere – as good for rock climbing as any granite spires I have seen anywhere. But then the cloud builds, the wind picks up, one remembers where one is and the thought of being up there, even further away than we are here is too much! I think we need a day or three to acquaint ourselves with our new surroundings before committing to anything too tall.
“It is much warmer and less hostile than the beastly plateau down here. With kind weather, we have a chance. More harshness and we’ll be looking somewhere less steep!”
You can read the latest blog posts from the Spectre Expedition at http://spectreexpedition.com/updates.