Leo Houlding

United Kingdom
Leo Houlding isn’t afraid of having a good time while making a big wall ascent. The UK-based climber is one of Britain's finest, and many consider him among the best in the world, but what people love most about him is his company and his sense of humor, even in the perils of adventure. Leo excels in free climbing, spending his time on the most technical peaks and biggest walls in the world.

However, Leo doesn’t just stop there; he is an experienced base jumper and at the forefront of Para-Alpinism (climbing to the top and jumping off)–pushing his limits on everything he touches. And while Leo may appear to be some kind of adrenaline junkie, ask any of his peers to describe him and they’ll call him the life of the party.

He is a magnetic figure in the climbing community and brings a sense of levity to a sport that can be (rightfully so) very serious. We’ll happily meet him at the crag anytime he asks.
What goes through your head when you first wake up in the morning?
What’s the weather like? (It’s a very unstable maritime climate where I live!)
Where is your favourite place for climbing?
I love the diversity of climbing, different styles, different rock types, and different environments, but Yosemite, California, is hard to beat!
How do you up your game year after year?
Build on ever-increasing experience and keep taking things in different directions to harder-to-reach locations.
If you could do anything better, what would it be?
Be more self-disciplined.
Who are your heroes? Who do you look up to?
Other than my wife and kids, I have great respect for pioneering adventurers who also gave back to their communities and humanity like Conrad Anker, Doug Scott, and Fridtjof Nansen.
What part of you, or what you do, reflects a spirit of restlessness?
An endless drive for ever greater adventure and ambition that never seems to be satisfied.
If there is any love-hate relationship with any aspect of what you do, can you describe what that is?
I love being on long expeditions to faraway places but hate being away from my young family.
What sound or noise do you love?
A Jet-liner taking off, usually means I’m off on a big adventure.
I am happiest when _______.
I am in the wilderness with my friends or family.
What are the 3 most essential things you need for your category?
A tolerance for discomfort, a thirst for adventure, and a rope.
If you could bring anybody in the world with you to do what you love (dead or alive), who would it be?
George Mallory, who disappeared near the top of Everest in 1924. Rishi Sunak (British Prime Minister) to convince him that outdoor adventure should be a compulsory part of the school curriculum funded by central government.
What does YETI mean to you?
Equipment to enable an outdoor lifestyle.
What does it mean to be built for the wild?
Rugged, reliable, with an appetite for risk.
How would you explain what YETI is to someone who didn’t know?
A brand with a passion for adventure that makes bombproof gear.
What, if any, other YETI products do you use? How do you use a specific YETI product in your market? What is your one favourite aspect or feature of your YETI?
My Camino® 35 is great for easy access crags and indoor climbing.
How has any YETI product changed what you do or how you do it?
Like many Englishmen from our green, wet island, I’m very poor at keeping properly hydrated. Delicious, ice-cold water from my Rambler ® 36oz bottle really helps.