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Spectre & The Extrem 5000

Climber, Alpinist & Adventurer. Berghaus Athlete.

LEO HOULDING, UK climber, alpinist and adventurer, is well known for pushing the limits of what’s possible. Having conquered mountains and peaks across the world, Leo’s latest expedition aimed to rewrite the rules of Transantarctic exploration. Here he tells Tiso about his exploits of 1,000 miles, 200kgs, 65 days, 3 mates on 1 epic expedition and his trusted Berghaus Extrem 5000 Jacket.

The Spectre Expedition was an ambitious and complex journey, unsupported and wind-assisted, across a thousand miles of the interior of Antarctica. It included an ascent of the Spectre in the Gothic Peaks, situated at the southern end of the Transantarctic Mountains, the most remote technical summit on Earth.

The relentless wind and intense cold of the first two weeks on the high plateau were brutal. Without the right kit humans cannot survive for long.

Jean Burgun, Mark Sedon and I pulled loads of over 200kgs including supplies for 65 days and all the kit for a multidiscipline expedition in the harshest of environments involving kite-skiing, sled-hauling and big-wall, alpine-style climbing in windchill temperatures as low as -70˚C.

Simply put, it was the most hard core trip I’ve ever dreamed up, the first expedition of its kind.

The demands such a trip places on your kit cannot be overstated. Your gear is not only critical to success but to survival. Perhaps the single most important item of clothing is the outer jacket.

Kiting down the Scott glacier. 76 km in four hours. However, crevasses soon began to pose a serious threat.

The armour that protects you from the murderous wind must also be extremely breathable, it’s astonishing how much you can sweat pulling a massive load, uphill in deep snow even in temperatures of -30˚C.

Although weight is absolutely critical it must not come at the cost of durability. The jacket must survive the brutal abrasion test of climbing a giant granite wall and remain in good enough condition for a full Antarctic crossing. No spares can be carried, zips must not fail and tears could lead to frost bite.

Jean, Leo & Mark - arriving at the base of one of the most spectacular, seldom visited summits on Earth: The Spectre.

After extensive prototype testing with the Berghaus design team in arctic Norway we developed the simple, durable yet fully featured Extrem 5000. After two months of continual use on an expedition that has redefined modern polar possibilities, it remains my go to piece for bad weather days at home in The Lakes. From the end of the Earth, to the end of the road, the Extrem 5000 keeps the weather out and the warmth in.

Hauling loads of over 200kg across the ice.

Berghaus Extrem At Tiso

Berghaus Extrem 5000 | £280

A superb all round jacket. Gore-Tex fabric keeps water out and lets sweat escape while the tough face fabric, articulated fit & adjustable hood make it easy to use and comfortable to wear. A great all round waterproof jacket for big days on the hill or just staying dry in town. Shop Online

Berghaus Extrem Fast Hike | £95

Ideal for moving fast in the mountains, these exceptionally lightweight pants are constructed from breathable fabric and feature built-in vents to keep you cool, plus stretch panels across the seat and over the knee. They won’t hold you back when you need to pick up the pace. Shop Online

Berghaus have been at the forefront of mountains sports in the UK for many years. Check out our full Berghaus range this season.


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