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East Lancashire film-maker in first ascent of fearsome Antarctic peak
A FILM-maker from East Lancashire was part of the first team to scale a new route up one of Antarctica’s most forbidding peaks.
Former Blackburn’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar School student Alastair Lee, from Blacko, joined an international expedition ascending the north-east ridge of Ulvetanna, the 2,930 metre summit in Queen Maud Land, led by Cumbrian adventurer Leo Houlding.
As temperatures dipped to a blistering -35 degrees, Alastair and his fellow climbers witnessed the wonders of the ‘white desert’ reaching the peak after a five-week mission.
Shortly after making the descent to base camp, Alastair recorded his feelings in the expedition blog.
He said: “We reached the epic, pointy summit in minus 35 degrees with wind chill, wearing thick beards of ice, and hearts full of joy.
“The cloud even broke for five minutes, dousing us in sun as we surveyed the panorama.”
Months of preparation had gone into the challenge, backed by snow-wear giants Berghaus, before Leo, Alastair and colleagues Sean Leary, Jason Pickles, David Reeves and Chris Rabone could claim to have conquered Ulvetanna.
The mountain’s name means ‘wolf’s tooth’ in Norwegian and it forms part of the FenrisKjefeten (wolf’s jaw) range in eastern Antarctica. Even their descent from one of the world’s coldest, driest and windiest outcrops took two days, as the climbers were careful to remove all ropes and climbing equipment from the remote site.
Leo added: “Ulvetanna’s fearsome north east ridge allowed us safe passage up and down from her summit, but not without showing a few teeth. The landscape of endless white desert and giant rock fangs is totally out of this world. At times in truly brutal conditions, we have all been pushed to our limits.”
Award-winning film-maker Alastair, who lives in the shadow of Pendle Hill, has his own company, Posing Productions, and has been involved with a series of climbing epics with Leo Houlding.
Their latest adventure has been subtitled ‘The Last Great Climb’.