8 October, 2022
Climber and adventurer Leo Houlding has lit up iconic North East landmarks to mark the launch of his first book. . Leo’s autobiography tells his story so far, from early experiences on Lake District crags with his dad, to establishing himself as one of the world’s most successful explorers.
Climber and adventurer Leo Houlding has lit up iconic North East landmarks to mark the launch of his first book. A series of sudden projections illuminated the Angel of the North, Penshaw Monument, Wearmouth Bridge and the Tyne Bridge last night, celebrating the publication of ‘Closer to the Edge’. Leo’s autobiography tells his story so far, from early experiences on Lake District crags with his dad, to establishing himself as one of the world’s most successful explorers, and later introducing his own children to outdoor adventures in wild places.
Leo Houlding, 42, started climbing as a ten-year-old in the Lake District, but soon expanded his horizons. By the age of 18, he had already gained a reputation as a maverick and one of the most exciting free climbers on the planet, after an on-sight ascent of the route El Nino on El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley, California. Along the way, Leo’s growing reputation brought him to the attention of North East based Berghaus and he joined its team of sponsored athletes.
An incident from the late 1990s contributed to Leo’s growing profile and features in the book. On a whim, Leo climbed the Angel of the North on the way to a meeting, and had a brush with the local police when he returned to ground level. That did nothing to harm Leo’s reputation as an exciting and bold climber, with an irreverent and rebellious streak. The unannounced projections on North East landmarks were in the same spirit of spontaneity, reflecting themes and stories contained in Closer to the Edge.
Published by Headline, Closer to the Edge is Leo’s own ‘warts-and-all’ insight into aspects of his extreme life. Leo describes his childhood inspirations to climb, the mentors who guided him, and the exhilaration of those teenage years when he broke into the public consciousness. The book reveals what drives him, how he assesses risk and judges how close to the edge he can go and return safely, and how he balances this with teaching his own children the lessons that he has learnt in some of the world’s most dangerous and extreme places. Along with Leo’s narrative, Closer to the Edge features a selection of images from Leo’s many adventures over the last three decades, including more than a dozen major expeditions.
Leo Houlding comments: “I found writing this book far more daunting and challenging than climbing a big scary mountain in Antarctica! But it’s something that’s been on my bucket list for twenty years and I’m really excited to finally share some pretty wild stories of amazing adventures. I hope that it inspires people to get after it themselves."
Closer to the Edge is available now from Headline at https://bit.ly/3LRESIV, and from other selected retailers. The suggested retail price is £20.
Leo is touring the UK this autumn with an ‘audience with’ lecture tour to support the publication of Closer to the Edge. Organised by Speakers from the Edge in partnership with Berghaus, the 18-date runs until 30 October. For more details and tickets visit https://www.speakersfromtheedge.com/theatre-tours/2022/leo-houlding-tour.
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