Neal Benson from Recognition Express had been following the 28-year-old’s progress closely on the internet. Why? Because of Leo’s port-a-ledge.
Neal, owner of Grange over Sands based Recognition Express Cumbria, was asked to print the name of Leo’s sponsors (Berghaus, Nokia and DMM) on Leo’s expedition tent.
“I’d been talking to a customer who wanted a mug for a school reunion. Then along came one of Leo Houlding’s team, and asked me to work on something that was going to help keep them alive in one of the most perilous adventures in the world,” said Neal.
“Leo’s a local hero in my book. And being able to play a small part in his achievement gave us a bit of a buzz.”
Cumbrian-born Leo is the champion speed climber who famously raced TV’s petrol-head Jeremy Clarkson to the top of the Verdon Gorge in France, pitting his hands and feet against a fast car, and he won.
In his latest expedition, he and American Sean Leary skydived into the Arctic Circle, spent two weeks scaling the sheer cliff face of twin-peaked Mount Asgard on Baffin Island, Canada. They then jumped off the top before a week long hike out.
Self confessed adrenalin Junkie Leo said ‘"The Asgard Project was the most epic adventure you can imagine. We skydived into a mile high cliff in the arctic and spent 14 days climbing one of the hardest, most impressive walls in the world. Hit by a vicious ice storm half way up the face we were trapped inside our port-a-ledges for 4 days. 100 mph freezing winds outside meant the fly sheet of the port-a-ledge was the only thing between us and hyperthermia. Screen printing can damage such a vital membrane, thankfully Neal understood the seriousness of the task, our fly sheet weathered the storm.’’
Neal actually had two attempts at printing the tent when one of Leo’s sponsors dropped out. “24 hours before the lads were due to fly out to Canada, they asked us to remove one of the sponsor’s names and replace it with another. We’d never done that to a tent before, but it worked really well.”
A film entitled ‘The Asgard Project’ is being made of the trip and Neal is hoping that his Berghaus, Nokia & DMM badged tent will be in it. “It’s the closest Recognition Express Cumbria will ever get to Hollywood. And I’m dead chuffed,” Leo says the film is ‘going to blow people’s minds. Think Point Break meets Lord of the Rings but real.’