11 08 2010
The Asgard Project is set to make its first broadcast on the small screen this September on Discovery’s new freeview channel ‘Quest’.
Hitting screens on September 26, the multi-award winning Asgard Project is an exciting and ambitious expedition captured in high definition by our very own athlete – award winning film maker Alastair Lee. The film follows Berghaus athlete Leo Houlding and his team as they push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of big wall climbing, by attempting to reach the top of a 2000 metres high tower of granite, Mount Asgard, located in a remote glacial region of Baffin Island in Arctic Canada.
To reach Mount Asgard, Leo Houlding, Sean ‘Stanley’ Leary and fellow Berghaus athlete Carlos Suarez, sky-dived into the heart of Baffin Island, while the film and rigging crew had to take on a gruelling five day trek carrying 30kg packs. The team climbed up to 20 hours straight each day, in sub-zero temperatures with 23 hours of shade, endured severe ice storms that left 4cm of frost on all of their ropes, and had to make up camp each night on the vertical face.
Halfway up the wall, Leo took a 50ft fall that almost ended his climb, and left him with damaged and bleeding fingers. Once at the summit, Leo, a pioneer in para-alphinism, and Stanley put on parachutes and new advanced lightweight wing-suits, which they used to make a groundbreaking BASE descent from the top of the tower, leaving the rest of the team to abseil back down, a journey which took them a further two days.
The Asgard Project captures every detail of the 12 day epic challenge, as Leo and his team successfully reached the top of Mount Asgard just before the route became completely unclimbable. The film premiered at Kendal Mountain Film Festival in November last year and is now available on DVD.
Leo Houlding comments: “Climbing Asgard’s North West face, which is regarded as one of the world’s most difficult big walls, was the greatest challenge I have set myself to date. I’ve been to the top of the world, suffered career threatening injury and completed some amazing adventures, but The Asgard Project tested me more than anything that has done before. The climb was extremely tough and we faced a savage ice storm that made us consider retreat, but we finally got enough of a break in the weather to finish the route.”
More information on The Asgard Project and full details of the expedition can be found at www.theasgardproject.com.