If you don’t know who Ueli Steck is by now, chances are you will be hearing a lot about his achievements in the next year. He climbs up snow covered mountains almost faster than you could ski down them. The renowned Swiss alpinist and Mountain Hardwear-sponsored athlete known for speed records in the Alps, takes his era-defining speed style to the Himalaya. Ueli has summited the Tibetan giant of Shisha Pangma (8027-meters and 14th highest in the world) in a mere 10.5 hours, but it’s only the beginning.
Holding impressive speed records on the Eiger, (you gotta see this video) the Matterhorn and les Grandes Jorasses (Video: The Swiss Machine), Ueli is now focused on the Himalaya bringing his light and fast, solo approach to the tallest peaks on the planet, and Shisha Pangma is only the first in what Ueli dubs Project Himalaya.
Ueli’s success on Shisha Pangma can be attributed to his Olympic-level training regime he has followed the past three years, and the two months he spent this spring training and acclimatizing in the Khumbu region of Nepal. Using sprints up Lobuche and Cholatse as warm-ups for the real deal, Ueli is redefining what is possible in alpine climbing.
Ueli left basecamp at 5306m on Saturday April 16th at 10:30pm to solo-climb the southwest face and summit in just 10.5 hours. It is reported that just 20 hours after departure Ueli was back at basecamp recovering comfortably from the high alpine assault already thinking about what’s next up in the high mountains of Tibet.
For the full back story, on-site video and insights into the unfolding chapters of Project Himalaya, visit: www.HimalayaSpeed.com