Search Results for Tag: Ueli Steck
Ueli Steck: “If you go too far, you are dead”
If “The Fast and the Furious” had been a film about climbers, Ueli Steck could have played the leading role. The Swiss is just extremely fast. The Eiger North Face in two hours and 22 minutes, the 82 four-thousanders of the Alps within 61 days, solo via the Annapurna South Face to the 8091-meter-high summit and back in 28 hours, through Shishapangma South Face within ten and a half hours – for good reason Ueli is nicknamed “The Swiss Machine”. As if he had a tuned engine inside like the cars in “The Fast and the Furious”. Just recently, Steck has returned from India. I met him at the International Mountain Summit (IMS) in Bressanone in South Tyrol and talked to him about his tendency to speed, about aging and his next plans.
Ueli, you just turned 40 years old and you were not at home. How did you spend your birthday?
Date15. October 2016 | 1:55
TagsDavid Goettler, David Göttler, Everest-Lhotse traverse, Mount Everest, Shishapangma South Face, Shivling, Ueli Steck
Shishapangma, the last take!
A chewing gum is not getting better by chewing it endlessly. There must come a time to spit it out. Stories are a similar ballgame. At a certain moment everything has been devoured a 1000 times. Then you should have the courage to draw a line under it before it becomes a never ending story, which is still only annoying. This will be my last blog post on the avalanche on Shishapangma which happened on next Saturday, exactly two years ago. Maybe not yet everything is said, but in my view it’s enough to close the chapter – and hopefully learn from it.
Date22. September 2016 | 15:41
TagsAndrea Zambaldi, Avalanche, Benedikt Boehm, BR, Interview, Magazine "Bergsteiger", Martin Maier, Sebastian Haag, September 2014, Shishapangma, Ueli Steck
Steck: “Basically I believe he can make it”
Ambitious or overwinded? The climbers’ scene is discussing the upcoming Everest project of the Spaniard Kilian Jornet. As reported before, the 28-year-old Catalan will set off to Tibet next Sunday to climb or rather run up the highest mountain on earth, within his project “Summits of my life”. The plan sounds crazy: if possible in a single push from Rongbuk Monastery to the 8850-meter-high summit; without bottled oxygen and Sherpa support; if the conditions on the mountain are right, on a seldom climbed route (Norton or Hornbein Couloir); and as if all that were not enough, in the monsoon. Of course, this evokes memories of Reinhold Messner’s legendary Everest solo in 1980. But Jornet will not be climbing alone. And he is a completely different type of climber than the South Tyrolean was at that time.
Date3. August 2016 | 18:46
TagsKilian Jornet, Mount Everest, Mountain run, North side of Mount Everest, Summits of my life, Tibet, trail running, Ueli Steck
Controversy over avalanche on Shishapangma
24 September 2014, 6.55 a.m.: Five men are climbing at 7,900 meters towards the summit of the eight-thousander Shishapangma when the avalanche releases. The Germans Sebastian Haag and Martin Maier and Italian Andrea Zambaldi are swept several hundred meters down the slope. German Benedikt Boehm and Swiss Ueli Steck have a lucky escape and get away from the snow masses. The 36-year-old Haag and the 32-year-old Zambaldi die. Maier miraculously survives and is able to escape by his own strength to the high camp. The news of the incident first appears in my blog. The first interviews about the avalanche with Bene Boehm and Martin Maier can also be read on “Adventure Sports”.
“Time does not heal everything”
More than one and a half year later, Martin has opened up a debate on the incident by giving an interview to the German magazine “Bergsteiger”. The 41-year-old industrial engineer is in his own words still suffering from long-term effects which are not only health problems: “Time does not heal everything – neither injuries that have remained to this day nor the sadness and bitterness about the fact that people want to increase their self-esteem at the expense of others.” Maier accuses the other two survivors of the avalanche, Boehm and Steck, of not having told the truth and of having abandoned him too quickly.
Date12. July 2016 | 21:25
TagsAndrea Zambaldi, Avalanche, Benedikt Boehm, Interview, Magazine "Bergsteiger", Martin Maier, Sebastian Haag, September 2014, Shishapangma, Ueli Steck
Steck and Goettler after Shishapangma South Face: “Only postponed”
It was one of the most exciting climbing projects of this spring’s season in the Himalayas. Swiss top climber Ueli Steck and German David Goettler initially planned to open a new direct route through the South Face of 8,027-meter-high Shishapangma. But they were not able to put it into practice. They “only” climbed the so called “Corredor Girona” route, opened by a Spanish team in 1995, up to the ridge at 7,800 meters and in their last attempt the route of the British first-ascenders of the South Face in 1982, Doug Scott, Alex MacIntyre and Roger Baxter-Jones, up to 7,600 meters. Even though they failed to climb a new route, Ueli and David didn’t return empty-handed from Tibet. I called the 39-year-old Swiss and the 37-year-old German in their hotel in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
Satisfied, disappointed or some of both? How do you feel after this expedition?
Date30. May 2016 | 10:34
After 16 ½ years: Alex Lowe’s body found
Glaciers are constantly moving. And so they spit out one day what they once swallowed. Climate change, which makes glaciers melt faster, is speeding up the process. In recent years there have been more and more reports from around the world that bodies of dead climbers were discovered after many years. Whether on Mont Blanc, on the Matterhorn, on Mount Everest – or now on the eight-thousander Shishapangma in Tibet. The Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation announced that Swiss Ueli Steck and German David Goettler had discovered the bodies of two climbers in blue ice during their acclimatization for Shishapangma South Face. The melting glacier would release the corpses soon. The description of clothes and packs left no doubt that it was the bodies of Alex Lowe and David Bridges, it was said.
Date2. May 2016 | 15:48
TagsAlex Lowe, Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, Avalanche, Conrad Anker, Corpse, David Bridges, David Goettler, glacier, Jennie Lowe-Anker, Shishapangma South Face, Ueli Steck
Steck and Goettler: Five questions, five answers
He couldn’t stop thinking about it. When the Swiss top climber Ueli Steck solo climbed the South Face of 8027-meter- high Shishapangma in only ten and a half hours five years ago, he discovered a possible new direct line. This spring, the 39-year-old – along with the 37-year-old German professional climber David Goettler – returned to the 2000-meter-high wall to have a try at the new route. If everything works perfectly, they plan to descend from the summit via the north side, thus traversing the eight-thousander.
Before heading off to Tibet, Ueli and David acclimatized in the Everest region in Nepal – including trail-running over extremely long distances. I sent them five questions to their Base Camp at the foot of Shishapangma South Face.
Ueli and David, the pictures which you published on Facebook in recent weeks, remind me of Speedy Gonzales or Road Runner, two cartoon characters of my childhood: continuously in high speed mode, because hunted. At the same time each of you let us know that the other is really, really fit. Honestly, who of you is actually rushing whom? Or from what are you trying to escape?
Date1. May 2016 | 13:18
TagsDavid Goettler, David Göttler, Earthquake, Khumbu, Mountain trail-running, Nepal, New route, Shishapangma, South face, Tibet, Ueli Steck
Ueli Steck regains Eiger record
While I got footsore during my “Power pilgrimage for Nepal”, Ueli Steck “ran” fleet-footed through the Eiger North Face (look at the video below). “Speedy Ueli” climbed the Heckmair route – the way of the first ascender in 1938 – solo in just two hours and 22 minutes. Thus, the 39-year-old top climber from Switzerland regained the speed record in this legendary, 1800-meter-high wall that he had lost in 2011 to his compatriot Dani Arnold (2:28 hours). In 2008, Steck had climbed the wall in 2:47 hours. “I had a good track and good conditions”, Ueli said after his tour de force through the North Face adding that it was “a beautiful experience and a great day”.
Date21. November 2015 | 21:27
Turning point in Sherpa climbing history
The next Sherpa coup in the Himalayas, again in Rolwaling Valley. After Nima Tenji Sherpa, Tashi Sherpa and Dawa Gyalje Sherpa – as reported – had first climbed three six-thousanders within three days at the beginning of October, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa now succeeded in doing an amazing solo ascent. The 29-year-old stated that he reached the 6685-meter-high summit of Chobutse (also called Tsoboje) climbing alone and for the first time through the West Face. He had two cold bivouacs in the wall causing frostbite at his leg. Chobutse was first climbed by the Germans Wolfgang Weinzierl, Peter Vogler, Gustav and Klaus Harder in spring 1972, via the Northeast Ridge. Several attempts to climb through the West Face had failed.
Date31. October 2015 | 21:36
TagsChobutse, Dreamers Destination, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Nepal, Rolwaling, Sherpa, solo ascent, Ueli Steck, West Face
Three questions for Ueli Steck
The fall season in the Himalayas is not over yet. Although the expedition on Mount Everest as well as those on the eight-thousanders Makalu, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna were recently canceled due to dangerous conditions on the mountains, there are still a few climbers under way on the highest mountains. So the team of South Korean Sung Taek Hong, who wants to tackle the Lhotse South Face again, decided in favor of a later expedition start. And also Swiss climber Ueli Steck and American Colin Haley have just completed their acclimatization. They did it on separate ways. Steck climbed along with Tenji Sherpa through the North Face of the 6,640-meter-high Cholatse. “That was pretty cool. He is the first Sherpa who climbed this wall”, Ueli writes to me. “It’s nice to see how a ‘new’ generation of Sherpas is growing up, who are really interested in climbing and not just in business. I think that’s awesome!” Steck and Haley want to first repeat the extremely difficult route via the Southeast Pillar to the summit of the 7,804-meter-high Nuptse East which was opened in in 2003 – but contrary to the first climbers, the Russians Valerij Babanov and Yuri Kosholenko, in Alpine style. I sent Ueli three questions to Base Camp.
Date17. October 2015 | 13:32
Steck: “The only way I can help the people of Nepal”
There are only 20 days left until Ueli Steck will return to Nepal. To the country where the 38-year-old Swiss top climber in the same year celebrated his probably most spectacular success as an extreme climber as well as the greatest fear of death that had nothing to do with mountain dangers. In spring 2013, a group of angry Sherpas attacked Ueli and his teammates Simone Moro and Jonathan Griffith in Everest high camp and threatened them with death. In fall 2013, Steck reached the 8091-meter-high summit of Annapurna, the eight-thousander with the highest fatality rate: solo, via the extremely dangerous South Face, on a partly new route, as always without bottled oxygen. It took Ueli only 28 hours to climb up and down.
This summer, he proved once again that he is able to climb mountains lickety-split, when he – as reported in my blog – scaled all 82 four-thousanders of the Alps within 62 days and overcame the distance between the mountains without engine power: by hiking, cycling or paragliding. I talked to Ueli about his tour de force through the Alps – and also about his upcoming exciting project in Nepal: on Nuptse, within sight of Mount Everest.
Date2. September 2015 | 13:00
Tags82 Summits, Annapurna, Babanov, Colin Haley, Earthquake, Mount Everest, Nepal, Nuptse East, Ueli Steck
Actually, Ueli Steck doesn’t like the nickname “Swiss Machine”. But once again he confirmed his reputation. As a precisely running Swiss watch, the 38-year-old completed his project “82 Summits”– on the double: “Speedy Ueli” scaled all 82 four-thousanders of the Alps in only 61 days, 19 days faster than previously intended. He covered the distance between the mountains using muscle power only: by bike or on foot.
With changing partners
Ueli shortened the descent from the peaks by paragliding where possible. Doing this he early had to say good-bye to his original partner for the project.
Date12. August 2015 | 22:35
82 four-thousanders in 80 days
They are on the way. The two top climbers Ueli Steck from Switzerland and Michi Wohlleben from Germany have now scaled the first of the 82 four-thousanders of the Alps, the 4,048-meter-high Piz Bernina in Switzerland. At 10 a.m. they reached the summit, after they had spent the night at the Tschierva Hut at 2,573 meters above sea level. Within just 80 days, the 38-year-old Ueli and the 24-year-old Michi want to climb all four-thousanders of the Alps, which are located in Switzerland, Italy and France – if possible, not on the normal but on more demanding routes.
Date11. June 2015 | 14:36
Ueli Steck: “I accept the risk”
Actually, Ueli Steck only wanted to do an active holiday in Tibet in autumn 2014. The 38-year-old top climber from Switzerland planned to climb the eight-thousander Shishapangma with his wife Nicole via the normal route. It soon became clear that it would not be as easy as it seemed first because there was too much snow on the mountain. “But just sitting around in the base camp, that’s really not my thing”, Ueli told me last week at the trade fair ISPO in Munich. “Thus I accompanied the guys in their summit attempt.” These guys were the German ski mountaineers Benedikt Boehm, Sebastian Haag and Martin Maier and the Italian Andrea Zambaldi. In the summit area, an avalanche descended: Haag and Zambaldi died, Maier survived seriously injured. Only Steck and Boehm were not swept away by the avalanche. Reason enough to talk with Ueli about risk and luck:
Ueli, people say, a cat has nine lives. How many lives do you have?
Date11. February 2015 | 15:45
TagsAnnapurna, Avalanche, Colin Haley, ISPO, Nuptse, Shishapangma, Ueli Steck
Martin Maier: “Everything seemed surreal”
Survived! On 24 September, Martin Maier was swept down 600 meters by an avalanche on the eight-thousander Shispapangma in Tibet. It was not only his friend Benedikt Boehm who called it a “small miracle”, that the 39-year-old climber from Munich did not die. The avalanche had released not far below the summit. The German ski mountaineer Sebastian Haag and the Italian Andrea Zambaldi were also caught by the avalanche and, in contrast to Maier, buried by the masses of snow. Both climbers died. Boehm and the Swiss Ueli Steck were just able to rescue themselves, when the entire slope began to slip off.
Martin Maier is recovering slowly but surely from the injuries he suffered in the accident. The engineer is not a professional climber, but has already gained a lot of experience on expeditions, inter alia to the Patagonian ice cap and to some 6000ers in South America. In 2012, he climbed the 8163-meter-high Manaslu in Nepal, the eighth highest mountain in the world. Martin told me his really incredible story of survival on Shishapangma:
Martin, how are you doing now?
I still have to struggle with many aftermaths of the avalanche and the whole tragedy, with my injuries that are yet to cure. And then of course there are always the thoughts with the friends who have died.
Date10. November 2014 | 16:54
TagsAndrea Zambaldi, Avalanche, Benedikt Boehm, Martin Maier, Sebastian Haag, Shishapangma, Tibet, Ueli Steck