Houlding Free Climbs New Route on Mount Roraima
At the end of November, Houlding and his team had set up a hanging camp on the daunting wall of Mount Roraima.
They started climbing the same route as the British expedition of 1973 before breaking left into virgin territory. They reached “invisible ledge” and set up another camp to tackle the last section of the wall. This section proved particularly tricky, with loose rock, huge overhangs, and changeable weather.
Houlding and Cutbirth took turns to lead climb. Houlding fell on one particularly challenging section but avoided injury. One of the main objectives for Houlding was to “free-climb” the whole route, so he returned to the pitch later and completed the pitch without falling.
On December 2, Cutbirth and Houlding reached the summit. They spent the next few days moving gear up from their camp at invisible ledge while the team trained two local guides on rope techniques. The two guides, Troy and Edward, had expressed a desire to join the international team on the climb. They picked up the skills incredibly quickly and were able to reach the summit, along with the rest of the team, on December 4.
Thick mist meant extraction would be difficult. Fortunately, the clouds cleared just long enough for their helicopter to land the next morning.
Now, the team are celebrating a new free-climbed route up the prow of Mount Roraima.