Trustee Leo Houlding's ground breaking Spectre Expedition
Our Outward Bound Trust explorer Leo Houlding is presently undergoing an incredible expedition in the Antarctica.
The Trust wishes him every success, as he aims with fellow explorers Mark Sedon and Jean Burgun, to take on one of the Earth's last great wildernesses.
Their 69-day expedition will see the team cover a distance of 2,000km unsupported; 1,600km powered by kite and 400km man-hauling their equipment on cross-country skis. With their primary objective, being the first team to successfully climb the smooth 750m granite south pillar spire of Spectre, in the Gothic Mountains.
The team departed from the UK in early November and are presently at Spectre Base Camp, with the temperature at -10.
Their journey so far, hasn't been easy, with the vagaries of the weather and terrain providing significant challenges. On the final day of the 300km of pulk hauling to the Spectre, Leo had a disagreement with a crevasse, but emerged unscathed (http://spectreexpedition.com/we-made-it-just).
Leo's reaction on completing the latest phase of the journey: "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."
Leo has been preparing for the expedition since 2013 and for the last year, has been working closely with Berghaus to develop the expedition's clothing and equipment, so that they’re well prepared to tackle the extremes conditions they may face.
You can follow Leo's latest progress and read his blogs at http://spectreexpedition.com/updates
It's fantastic that Leo is hoping to use the Spectre expedition, his first major trip since becoming a trustee, to help raise the profile of Outward Bound and the work that we do.
We wish Leo, Mark and Jean all the very best and a successful expedition.