Berghaus athlete Leo Houlding targets new horizon with snowkiting expedition

British climber and adventurer Leo Houlding has embarked on a month long, unsupported 1,000 mile expedition across the Greenland ice cap.  Houlding will attempt to snowkite from Kangerlussuaq in the south west and finish in Qaanaaq, one of the most northerly towns on Earth.  He will be accompanied by highly experienced snowkiter Bruce Corrie.

Based in the Lake District, Leo Houlding is one of the world’s most renowned climbers.  Aged 35, he is already a veteran of a score of major ascents, most recently on the Mirror Wall in remote north east Greenland.  Houlding only started trying his hand at snowkiting a few years ago and is still learning the skills that he will be putting to use during his latest expedition, which will be a new experience for him.

For the Greenland expedition, Houlding has teamed up with Bruce Corrie, who lives nearby in Kendal. Corrie has been snowkiting for 28 years and is one of the UK’s foremost practitioners of the activity. However, in contrast to Houlding, he has never been on an expedition of any scale.  Houlding and Corrie hope that the combination of their expertise and experience will help them complete 1,000 miles in Greenland over the next month.

Leo Houlding comments: “Traditional polar travel has never really appealed to me – lots of suffering, little excitement, not much of a view.  However, throw modern snow kites into the mix and suddenly the balance of fun rapidly tips.  I’ve been playing around with kites for the last few winters and finally feel I can say that I am a competent snowkiter.

“It’s not as easy as it looks – there is a lot of power in those big kites and a lot to be mindful of when travelling over terrain at speeds up to 50 mph with all kind of obstacles and hazards to manage.  It’s very literally going to be quite a ride for Bruce and me, and I hope that people will enjoy following our progress.”

Bruce Corrie adds: “I’m a 51 year old, ‘stay at home’ dad and now I find myself heading out to the polar expanse of Greenland to embark on a month long expedition with one of the world’s top climbing adventurers – I do wonder how I got myself into this situation!

“I am experiencing a mixture of trepidation and fear with a very small amount of excitement.  We have a good plan, great equipment, appropriate skills and a flexible mind-set to cope with the inevitable problems that will occur.  Somewhere between a nightmare and a walk in the park is where it will be, and I am hoping for the latter.”

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