Leo Houlding is a British rock climber widely considered one of the best speed climbers ever to have lived. At the age of 18 Houlding became the first Briton to free climb El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley, and has gone on to climb many of its toughest lines.
Houlding began rock climbing at the age of 10. In 1996, he became the British Junior Indoor Climbing Champion. He spent the summer of 1997 living in and around Llanberis in North Wales. The summer was notable for having many well known UK climbers in the region at the same time, including Adam Wainwright, Tim Emmett, Simon Panton, Patch Hammond and others; some important new routes were established during that season. He became the subject of the 2003 TV documentary "My Right Foot" which was part of the Extreme Lives series aired on BBC Television.
Houlding appeared in the BBC television programme Top Gear in which he raced presenter Jeremy Clarkson up a cliff face in Verdon Gorge, winning the challenge. Houlding, joined by Tim Emmett, climbed the canyon whilst Jeremy drove an Audi RS4 to the top using the surrounding roads. He has also appeared several times on the Audi Channel.
He joined the 2007 Altitude Everest Expedition, led by American climber and mountaineer, Conrad Anker, retracing the last steps of legendary British climber, George Mallory, on Everest.