Leo Houlding to Free Climb Mount Roraima

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.