Leo Houlding To Climb Antarctica’s Ulvetanna Peak

So far, the bulk of our attention for the 2012 Antarctic season has been focused on the progress of the South Pole skiers and a few other expeditions to the frozen continent. But in December, a number of climbing teams will head to Antarctica as well with the bulk of them setting their sights on Mt. Vinson, the tallest peak on the continent. But there are plenty of other climbing challenges to be had at the bottom of the world and British climber Leo Houlding will be taking on one of the toughest.

Houlding, along with five other climbers, will be traveling to Ulvetanna Peak, also known as the Wolf’s Tooth, in late December to attempt to scale the 9612-foot (2929 meter) mountain. While that altitude doesn’t sound particularly daunting by Himalayan standards, when you consider that its Northeast Ridge is 6500 feet (1981 meters) in height, of which 4265 feet (1300 meters) is a vertical ascent, you begin to see the scope of the challenge.

Add in temperatures that routinely drop to -50ºF/-45ºC, along with plenty of wind and snow, and this expedition has all the ingredients to make it a true suffer-fest. Additionally, those conditions are likely to play havoc on the team’s gear as well, adding to the challenge by making very difficult to keep everything in working order.

Located in Queen Muad Land in eastern Antarctica, the Wolf’s Tooth is a remote and daunting mountain. It’s first ascent was completed in 1994 and it has been summited only a handful of times since. Leo and his crew hope to add their names to the short list of climbers who have managed to scale its heights however and if they have time they intend to knock off a few other peaks in the area as well.

You’ll be able to follow their progress on the Berghaus Blog once they get underway.

Thanks to Outside Online for sharing this story.

Kraig Becker