One of Great Britain's finest climbers and adventurers, Leo Houlding started out climbing at ten years of age in the Lake District literally learning the ropes tackling the many peaks and crags the area was famous for. Honing his skills as he grew, Leo would travel abroad becoming the first Brit to free climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in the United States at eighteen years of age, which cemented his reputation as a world class climber. He has since gone on to not only summit the world's toughest peaks, but to cross continents to explore the most extreme places our planet has to offer - from the frozen mountains of Antarctica to the jungles of South America.
How did a working class lad from the north of England scale such heights and avoid the pitfalls and fatal accidents that have struck down so many of his colleagues and friends? Honest, raw and exhilarating, Closer to the Edge is Leo's 'warts-and-all' insight into the extreme life of one of Britain's best climbers who is active today and still planning epic adventures. In a page-turning narrative, Leo describes his childhood inspirations to climb, his mentors who guided him, and the exhilaration of those teenage years when he broke into the public consciousness - such as his infamous race against Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. He will reveal to the reader 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 he has learnt in some of the world's most dangerous and extreme places. Closer to the Edge is the story of a remarkable climber and free spirit who has been at the top of his game for over thirty years, with still more mountains to explore.
He's a brilliant climber. He makes everything seem so incredibly easy. In rock climbing, your twenties are probably your peak time. He is the equivalent of an Olympic athlete. I still love my climbing as much as I ever have done, but I don't think I ever climbed as well as Leo does. - Sir Chris Bonington
One of the best climbers ever to have lived - Jeremy Clarkson
He shouldn't be alive. - Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Leo is the real deal.
- Bear Grylls
One of the greatest mountaineers Britain has ever produced. - Steve Backshall