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Ueli Steck

Climber & Alpinist

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Biography

Born on October 4, 1976 in Emmental he first started to play ice hockey, but he stopped once he got in touch with climbing and mountaineering. He soon gains a name in the scene of climbers and alpinists not only because of extraordinary talent but also because of his spirit to take high risks. Ueli, a skilled carpenter and today professional mountain climber) emphasizes himself through his great self control. Although he likes to run with his head against a brick wall, he is capable of catching other people with his joy of life. He lives a philosophy which does not only encourage sportsmen to live their lives more intensively. For his extraordinary performances in alpinism he was nominated in 2005 for the "Piolet d’Or".

His palmarès includes extremely difficult classic faces, some solo routes, ice- und mixed routes, sport routes, big walls, first ascents, i.e the West Face of the 7161m Pumori together with Ueli Bühler in 2001, Mount Dickey in Alaska and the North Face of the Eiger "The Young Spider" together with Stephan Siegrist). In 2003, after two attempts on the North Face of Jannu, Ueli redpoints "La Vida es Silbar" on the North Face of the Eiger, again with Stephan Siegrist.

In 2004 he, together with Stephan Siegrist, enchained all three North Faces of the Eiger, Mönch and the Jungfrau under 25 hours, soloed the Wendenstöcke routes Silberfinger and the Excalibur Pillar, and also completed a winter solo on the North Face of the Eiger, in addition to various other shorter solo ascents. In springtime of 2005, Ueli Steck made the first spectacular solo ascent on the 6440m Cholatse North Face, topping out off the 1500m face in only 37 hours.

Just two weeks later, he completed the first solo ascent of the East Face of the Tawoche (6505m). His attempt of the third peak, the Ama Dablam, was brought to an abrupt end. Unfortunately, bad conditions forced Ueli to quit at an altitude of 5900m. In early 2006, Ueli completed the second and this time solo ascent of his route "The Young Spider" on the Eiger. During 5 days, Ueli climbed through the Diretissima on the North Face. In June of the same year, Ueli summited with two companions the 7710m East Peak of Gasherbrum 2 after having completed the first ascent of Magic Line. In February 2007 he sets a new record climbing solo the classic Heckmair route in 3h54minutes. He broke the old record, which was held by Christoph Hainz since 2003. In April 2007 during his acclimatization time for his Annapurna project, he climbed solo the West Face of the 7161m Pumori in only 24 hours up and down. His attempt to climb the Annapurna south face (8091m) on a direct route was stopped all of a sudden. A stone hit him straight on his head. He had to interrupt the expedition immediately.

On February 13, 2008, almost a year to the day since he first broke the speed record for climbing the North Face of the Eiger, Ueli Steck sets a new fastest time soloing the face in 2hr 47min 33sec.

April 2008: while preparing for Annapurna Southface, Ueli Steck and his team mate Simon Anthamatten summit Tengkampoche climbing in a first ascent through Tenkampoche’s technical difficult and demanding northface (6500m), 2000m high, in Khumbu Valley, Nepal. They called this new route "Checkmate". Difficulty: VI/85 degrees, ice M7+ / 6A0. For this Route Simone and Ueli won the Piolets d`Or 2009. Ueli`s spirit of climbing is trying to move one. So 2009/2010 he finished the speed trilogy in the alps. He set up record times at the Grandes Jorasses on the Colton Macintyre Route by just climbing the face in 2h 21min. To progress on his achievements Ueli Steck decided to do it on-sight. He did the same also on Matterhorn Northface wich he climbed in 1h 56 min.

Ueli Steck doesn`t like to sit on the couch. In spring 2009 he visited Yosemite National Park. Just missing one 6c pitch on the first try he climbed the route Golden Gate ground up everything on-sight except this little 6c pitch. After enjoying the Californian sun it was time to go back to the real mountains. In summer and autumn of 2009 he summitted Gasherbrum II 8035 Meter and Makalu 8463 Meter. The following winter of 2010 he climbed the Droite northface in 2h and 08 minutes.

Publications
  • Bild Ueli Steck: SOLO
  • Bild Ueli Steck: SPEED
Images
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Video & Audio
  • Ueli Steck: Neuer Rekord am Eiger
  • Ueli Steck´s Triple Speed Climbing Record
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