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Closer to the Edge: Climbing to the Ends of the Earth

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Honing his skills as he grew, Leo would travel abroad becoming the first Brit to free climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park at 18 years of age, which cemented his reputation as a world class climber. Leo Houlding is one of the world’s best climbers; big walls, Everest, triple peaks in as many days, you name it, Leo’s probably climbed it!

Just decades ago women were unable to compete in traditional mountain races, yet today we see female runners winning ultra distance events outright. I took off my jacket, calmed my breath and, trying to look as relaxed as possible, began to stroll casually towards the Alfa.Excuse me, sir, I believe that was you up there and I am arresting you for a breach of the peace,' he said in his Mackem – not to be confused with Geordie – accent in the politest fashion the predicament could allow. Honest, raw and exhilarating, Closer to the Edge will be a 'warts-and-all' insight into the extreme life of one of Britain's best mountaineer adventurers.

We were on our way to the wedding of a mutual close friend, held at a castle on the way back to Wales. We loaded a roof box on the Alfa full with beers and a case of fine single malt whisky as gifts for our hosts, which Andy had assured us was valuable currency in the extortionately taxed, oil-rich, socialist state of Norway.We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. The others had kept their distance at the scene of the crime then left so as not to be late for our friend's nuptials. Honest, raw and exhilarating, Closer to the Edge will be a ‘warts-and-all’ insight into the extreme life of one of Britain’s best mountaineer adventurers. 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.

It was to Norway with a strong team that included renowned alpinist Andy Cave and the sport climber Neil Gresham, who had recently turned to trad, making the third ascent of Johnny's famous route Indian Face. p>Read about how we’ll protect and use your data in our Privacy Notice. He was also a sales rep for DMM and as Tim Emmett had been demoted to a slower car following his collection of speeding tickets, we travelled in the beloved Alfa. One Man's Legacy adds much depth to Tom Patey's character and reputation, enriching our understanding of an already legendary figure in.

On the last morning as we said our goodbyes (snatched between violent fits of vomiting amidst my desperate hangover from the previous night's partying), Rolf, the wildest of their crew, with whom I had most bonded, took me to one side. Read a snippet of Leo Houlding's first book, Closer to the Edge, and find out where you can hear more from Leo himself. We were heartily welcomed into the close-knit Stavanger climbing community and I was introduced to characters who proved influential in later years, including Sindre Bo, Rolf Bae and Robert Caspersen. Like a lot of people, all I knew about Leo before this was the Top Gear climb but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 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?

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