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 first tried 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.
"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 good enough. 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."
Corrie added: "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."
Although communications with friends and family back home are expected to be challenging, Houlding and Corrie will send as many updates as they can, which will appear on a dedicated page on the Berghaus website. Houlding will also share what he can through Twitter and Facebook. In addition, anyone who is interested in following their progress will be able to use a live tracker. It will go live as soon as they touch down on the ice later this week and will be available to follow at berghaus.com.