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Remote Spectre Spire in Antarctica Climbed

Leo Houlding, Jean Burgun and Mark Sedon climbed the remote Spectre spire in Antarctica’s Organ Pipe peaks of the Gothic Mountains.

They made the second ascent of the 1980 route established by Mugs and Ed Stump, but climbed some new ground up the north-facing wall.

Chris Lines, spokesman for expedition reported the team had originally intended to attempt the new route on the south face. The weather and duration of the expedition limited the time available for climbing.

“After fully assessing options on site, the team made the decision that their primary objective should be to get all three members to the summit via the ‘route of least resistance.’

“That proved to be much easier said than done,” Lines said. “It was a fully committed push that was very much touch and go at times, always with the threat that a deterioration in the weather would force [them] to abandon their climb.

“However, after an extremely arduous ascent, they reached the summit around midnight, and after a quick descent got back to camp safely over 20 hours after setting off,” Lines said.

The three climbers still have to continue 1,700 kilometres hauling and kite-sking after attempting to traverse the Organ Pipe Peaks.

Houlding commented online: “The level of commitment of being high on a steep, complex face out here at the end of the Earth is impossible to overstate. Away from the sanctuary of our camp, we are so very isolated, and so very exposed.

“If Antarctica snarls, it is very quickly a survival situation. It was with more anxiety than pleasure that we pushed on to the summit, ready to turn and run at the first whiff of wind.” For more see here.