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CLOSER TO THE EDGE Leo Houlding 2022 UK ed Hardcover New Multiple copies available
By Houlding, Leo
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London, 2022, UK edition. 353 pp, color photos; photos are printed on glossy paper, with excellent reproduction. Hardcover with Dust Jacket, New. 

One of Great Britain's finest climbers and adventurers, Leo Houlding started out climbing at ten years of age in the Lake District literally learning the ropes, tackling the many historic peaks and crags in the area. Honing his skills as he grew, at eighteen Leo became one of the very first to free climb El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, California, widely regarded as the most impressive rock face on the planet cementing his reputation as a world class climber. 

Leo is known in America for when he joined the 2007 Altitude Everest Expedition, led by American climber and mountaineer, Conrad Anker. They  retraced the last steps of legendary British climber, George Mallory on the North Ridge of Mount Everest. There is film footage taken by Leo of Conrad Anker, dressed in 1920s style clothing, free climbing the ''Second Step,'' which proves that it can be free climbed. But it also proves that Conrad is probably a better climber than George Mallory was. 

He has since gone on to not only summit the world's tallest walls and toughest peaks, and has become a twenty-first Century explorer, crossing continents to take extreme sports to the most remote corners of Earth - from the frozen mountains of Antarctica to the sweltering jungles of South America

In August 2009 Leo led a team of climbers and film makers to Mount Asgard on Baffin Island, Canada. They attempted to free climb a 15 pitch route up the north face of the mountain to create the first free route. Although over half of the ascent was eventually freed, the team were unable to complete the full free ascent within the available time. Houlding and American team member Sean 'Stanley' Leary BASE jumped from the summit. The ascent took 12 days and is featured in the 2010 film The Asgard Project.

From December 2012 to January 2013, a team led by Houlding and including Alastair Lee, Chris Rabone, Sean Leary, Jason Pickles and David Reeves made the first ascent of a new route up the north-east ridge of Ulvetanna Peak in Antarctica. The peak was described as 'the most demanding peak on the world's toughest continent' via its fearsome north-east ridge. The film that was produced, The Last Great Climb premiered in London on 5 November 2013. Previews are on YouTube.

How did a working class lad from the north of England scale such heights and avoid the pitfalls and fatal accidents that have struck down so many of his colleagues and friends? Honest, raw and exhilarating, Closer to the Edge is Leo's 'warts-and-all' insight into the extreme life of one of Britain's best climbers who is active today and still planning epic adventures. In a page-turning narrative, Leo describes his childhood inspirations to climb, his mentors who guided him, and the exhilaration of those teenage years when he broke into the public consciousness - such as his infamous race against Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. 

He reveals to the reader what drives him, how he assesses risk and judges how close to the edge he can go and return safely, and how he balances this with teaching his own children the lessons he has learned in some of the world's most dangerous and extreme places. Closer to the Edge is the story of a remarkable climber and free spirit who has been at the top of his game for over thirty years, with still more mountains to explore.

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