Pendle adventurer's film to hit new heights

HIGH ANXIETY: Alastair does the filming as Leo makes his ascent

HIGH ANXIETY: Alastair does the filming as Leo makes his ascent

First published in Blacko Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

AN award-winning film by a Pendle adventurer, set on the most daunting mountains in the world, is set to get its TV debut.

Cross-continental epic The Asgard Project is Alastair Lee’s spine-tingling video diary of his friend Leo Houlding's assault on the 2,000 foot Baffin Island granite wall.

The north face of the Arctic Circle peak is inaccessible for much of the year but there is a small window of opportunity during the summer when the sheet ice melts and the cliff-face is surmountable.

Film festivals across the world, from Slovenia to Sheffield, have given the breathtaking footage top honours.

And now the Blacko director will see his handiwork broadcast on new Discovery Channel offshoot Quest, on September 26.

He also captured world-class climber Leo as he undertook training climbs in Riglos, in Spain, and Brentos, in Italy.

For the grand finale of the climb, the mountaineer wanted to leap off Asgard in a wingsuit, so he was also filmed doing test jumps in the Yosemite National Park in America.

Father-of-one Alastair, who lives in the shadow of Pendle Hill, said of the project: “Leo is known as a world-class climber so if he is testing himself then it means something is going to come out of it that no-one has done before. That is very attractive to me as a film-maker —it’s unusual, it's unique, it's spectacular so it is very easy for me to explain it."

But the shoot was never straightforward as Leo and fellow climber Sean Leary had to skydive to reach Baffin Island, survived sub-zero temperatures for 23 hours of the day and severe ice storms which left all of the equipment covered by four centimetres of frost.

Halfway up the climb Leo also had a 50-foot fall which jeopardised the ascent and left him with bleeding fingers.

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