Leo Houlding on the Paper Flake during the climb. Photo: Matt Pycroft/Coldhouse Collective/Berghaus

Leo Houlding on the Paper Flake during the climb. Photo: Matt Pycroft/Coldhouse Collective/Berghaus

Climber Leo Houlding and his team are celebrating their ascent of the remote Arctic Mirror Wall in Greenland.

He contacted his sponsors Berghaus today to say: “We nailed it!”

The expedition had been hit by bad weather and illness, casting doubt on the team’s ability to climb the route before the scheduled helicopter pick-up tomorrow, Houlding’s 35th birthday.”

The Cumbria-based mountaineer and adventurer broke radio silence today to give the good news to his sponsors and family that the expedition members had successfully summited the face, four times the height of The Shard in London, and made it safely back to base.

Houlding said: “The team has successfully climbed the Mirror Wall by the main face and descended safely.

“Such a huge wall – taller than El Cap [El Capitan in Yosemite] – and so blank and smooth that you can almost see your reflection. Strategically simple, tactically highly complex; the month-long process of gazing deep into the mirror looking for a way to the top is over and we found it.

“We are back in base camp. The crew, little experienced in this game, have all excelled and not just survived, but thrived on the challenge. It has been a privilege to run wild with these strong guys out here in this grown-up playground.

“We topped out in an upwards snow storm, having spent 12 nights on the face. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Berghaus Extrem kit was essential to our success – thanks guys!

“All we need now is for a fine day tomorrow for the helicopter pick up. It will be my 35th birthday and our home bound extraction will be the best present ever! I am ready for home, ready to see my wife Jess and daughter Freya, ready for comfort and convenience, safety and security.

The Mirror Wall

The Mirror Wall

“I look forward to sharing all this wonder with Freya, teaching her what I have learned and showing her these magical places.”

Berghaus sent its congratulations to Houlding and his team, Joe Möhle, Matt Pickles, Matt Pycroft and Waldo Etherington, calling it a stunning achievement.

Leo Houlding confessed earlier to being more risk averse on this, his first big expedition since the birth of his daughter Freya.

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