Leo Houlding makes El Capitan first ascent

Leo Houlding has successfully completed his long-term project by making the first ascent of The Prophet on El Capitan, Yosemite. Leo, partnered by Jason Pickles, came close to completing the route back in June before returning this month and finally completing The Prophet and adding a new free climb to El Capitan.

In an interview on UK Climbing back in September, Leo Houlding described his route:

“It starts up the first 5 pitches of Bad to the Bone on the right side of El Cap, then three new pitches, a new traverse featuring the epic ‘devil’s dyno’, it shares Nicolas Favresse and Seán Villanueva route The Secret Passage for 25ft then finishes up the last 4 pitches of Eagle’s Way. Nico and Seán started up Eagles way then finished up the line I was originally looking at (Bad to the Bone) so I tried to find an alternative finish. The Prophet and The Secret Passage run parallel then cross sharing 25 feet on pitch 9.

The Prophet has been almost 10 years in the making. I originally attempted it from the ground up with Jason Pickles; no aid, no fixed ropes, no drill, in-a-day. It’s quite harrowing – hardest climbing I’ve done ground up; shitty belays, shitty bolts, hard moves.

You can join Leo on the Berghaus Adventure Tour at venues across England and Scotland, for more information and to buy tickets visit www.berghausadventuretour.com