Leo Houlding to Free Climb Mount Roraima

Mount Roraima's prow. Photo: Klaus Fengler

Leo Houlding has arrived in Guyana to fulfil a boyhood dream, to free climb the prow of Mount Roraima. The 2,810m flat-topped mountain has a 31-square-kilometre summit, surrounded by cliffs on all sides. Mount Roraima is a tepui (meaning house of the gods in the indigenous Pemon language), a remnant of what was once an extensive sandstone plateau. Houlding is leading a team featuring climbers Anna Taylor and Wilson Cutbirth, as well as “rainforest canopy rigger” Waldo Etherington.

Leo Houlding, 39, is one of Britain’s top climbers. Photo: Berghaus

Houlding is no stranger to unique expeditions. In 2015, he led a five-man team on the first ascent of the northwest face of Greenland’s Mirror Wall. Two years later, he and two companions kite skied to Antarctica’s Gothic Mountains.

His Mount Roraima expedition will take a month and open a new route up a 600m stretch of the mountain’s prow. This big wall climb comes with a host of logistical difficulties. Houlding’s team airdropped almost a ton of gear into the jungle last week. Now, led by local guides, they are trekking toward the base of the mountain and will recover their equipment along the way.


About the Author

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam.

A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon.

He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon.

His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

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Tadeu Graciolli
Tadeu Graciolli
2 years ago

Could you say Mount Roraima location? Thanks