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Explorer becomes first Briton to conquer 'world's most remote mountain'

Adventurer Leo Houlding, 39, successfully conquered Spectre - a jagged mountain peak in Antarctica, 450km south of the South Pole. (SWNS)


A British explorer has become the first to conquer the world's most remote mountain unaided - which is so isolated only ten people have ever seen it.

Adventurer Leo Houlding, 39, successfully conquered Spectre - a jagged mountain peak in Antarctica, 450km south of the South Pole.

He battled Antarctic conditions for more than 2,000km to make the climb.

Leo is only the third person to have successfully reached the summit, and the first Briton. He is the first to have completed the expedition without outside financial assistance or use of any vehicle within the Antarctic.

Adventurer Leo said part of his climb involved battling 'some of the most hostile conditions on Earth'. (SWNS)
Friends Leo Houlding (right), Jean Burgun (centre) and Mark Sedon celebrate making it to the top of the Sceptre. (SWNS)

Leo, from Staveley, Cumbria, said: "I've been on a lot of adventures and they are all quite challenging, but this was another level.

"Of all that I've done, that one takes the crown as the most remarkable and the most extreme.

"The mountain is as remote as you can get. There is a science base at the South Pole about 450km away, you basically have to go via there to get to Spectre.

Leo said his team faced 'instant frostbite' during parts of their extreme trip. (SWNS)
Ascent: The four spiked tips of Spectre mountain pierce the snowy landscape of Antarctica. (SWNS)

Shortly after he reached the summit he was joined by the other two members of his team France's Jean Burgun, 38, and Mark Sedon, 49, from New Zealand, who became the fourth and fifth people to complete the challenge.

Leo said that on his arrival, temperatures were so low that the team faced instant frostbite - and on one occasion he almost fell into a crevasse.

He continued: "Getting to Spectre was the greatest part of the challenge, as it transpired.

"We kite skied for 2,000km with 200kg of kit each - it was the only way to get there. Kite skiing enables you to travel at speed and carry enough weight.

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"This wasn't a beach holiday, Spectre is in the most most hostile environment on earth and you need a lot of equipment to survive.

"When we arrived it was -40 with winds of 60 knots, that gives a windchill of -73 - that's instant frostbite.

"You can freeze to death within minutes in those temperatures.

"It's the most remote mountain in the world, when you are that far out you are completely self reliant - no one is coming to help if things go wrong."

The Spectre is 2,020 metres (6,630 ft) high, and was discovered in December 1934 by the Byrd Antarctic Expedition geological party under Quin Blackburn.

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