Houlding Summits Sacred Mountain
Leo bags new route on unclimbed face of Chinese sacred peak.
Leo Houlding has made the first ascent of the challenging 600m west face of the stunning sacred mountain of Huashan in China.
Huashan, one of five sacred mountains in China
Climbing with fellow Berghaus climbers Carlos Suarez and Wang Zhi Ming, Houlding took 13 hours to complete the technically difficult climb after being granted special permission by the Chinese government to attempt the route on the previously unclimbed face.
Houlding has named the route 'Celestial Masters' and says that the ascent was less classic rock climbing and more 'vertical tree wrestling' due to the extremely overgrown nature of the cliff. Leo had to fight through thorns, trees and brambles to eventually make it to horizontal ground and finished the climb with multiple flesh wounds as a result.
Leo, Carlos and Wang left no gear fixed in the face, remaining faithful to a pure style of climbing.
Houlding on the west face of Huashan
Leo commented: “It was a much harder climb than we anticipated, but even in the most severe and dangerous times we all kept smiling and enjoyed the adventure. Motivation is the key to success and it was a pleasure to climb with such positive guys as Carlos and Wang.
“China is blessed with an incredible variety of amazing mountains and other climbing destinations. I hope that our expedition to Huashan will inspire more people from China to explore the outdoors around them, and encourage others to visit the country.”
Apparently Huashan is shaped like a massive gold ingot and is famous for being the birthplace of Taoism. It's one of five sacred mountains in China and it's extremely rare for anyone to be granted permission to attempt it by any route.
More information on the climb at Leo Houlding's blog at www.berghaus.com where the name of the route is explained and Leo described a near-revolt by the portemy [email protected],huashan tourism group