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  1. ITV Report

Cumbrian adventurer completes Antarctic expedition

Leo Houlding, Mark Sedon and Jean Burgun at the Union Glacier Camp Photo: Berghaus

A Cumbrian climber and his mountaineering team have completed their Spectre expedition in Antarctica, involving climbing the most remote mountain on earth.

Leo Houlding, along with colleagues Jean Burgun and Mark Sedon, has safely reached the Union Glacier, completing their journey of 1,700km over 57 days, with 31 separate camps.

During the expedition, the three adventurers have man hauled and ski kited with loads of up to 200kg, been confined to their tents for days during raging storms, spent Christmas and New Year thousands of miles from family and friends, and witnessed incredible solar phenomena.

They also succeeded in reaching the summit of the Spectre, by a partly new route on its north face.

Leo (front) and Jean in ski kiting action on the final day of the Spectre expedition Credit: Berghaus

Leo said the team had a ball out there and he couldn't imagine a better pair of partners:

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 Houlding, BRITISH ROCK CLIMBER