/ NEWS: Ueli Steck - Annapurna South Face Solo - 28 Hours

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UKC News - on 13 Oct 2013
Ueli Steck breakfasting at over 6000m on his Annapurna Expedition, 4 kb

Swiss climber Ueli Steck, one of the world's top alpinists, has confirmed that he has soloed the South Face of Annapurna in a 28 hour round-trip.

Here Jon Griffith gives us full details of this amazing Himalayan ascent.



Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68412
James Rushforth - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: Incredible achievement. Glad he made it back safely.
puppythedog on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: astonishing.
Robert Durran - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

I think that Steck may now have fulfilled his long obvious potential and joined the mountaineering greats.

James B - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Amazed this thread isn't getting more traffic.

An all-time outstanding himalayan climbing feat.
Ged Desforges - on 13 Oct 2013
Absolutely phenomenal. Will this go down in the big moments of climbing history like Messner on Everest? I stood under that face earlier this year and the scale and complexity of it are overwhelming.

A minor point of pedantry: the caption for the photo is "annapurna south". Annapurna SOuth is a different peak, that photo is definitely the south face of Annapurna I.
woollardjt - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Simply a legend
Mr Fuller on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: I think the traffic might be low because some people (myself very-much included) don't realise how hard this is. I can barely even understand how you get up the Eiger in less than a day (let alone a morning), and this is just totally out of my realm of imagination. Are solos on Himalayan peaks very, very unusual? I guess soloing new routes is doubly-so? How high is the face, how long is the route? Apart from that, well done Ueli Steck - completely incredible.
puppythedog on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Mr Fuller: I agree, I commented in the other thread that I cannot begin to understand this.
BALD EAGLE - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Absolutely amazing effort! A truly groundbreaking achievement!:-)
davy_boy - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: im almost speechless such an incredible feat of mountaineering that im struggling to get my head around it well done ueli.
SteveC - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Mr Fuller:
> (In reply to UKC News) I think the traffic might be low because some people (myself very-much included) don't realise how hard this is. I can barely even understand how you get up the Eiger in less than a day (let alone a morning), and this is just totally out of my realm of imagination. Are solos on Himalayan peaks very, very unusual? I guess soloing new routes is doubly-so? How high is the face, how long is the route? Apart from that, well done Ueli Steck - completely incredible.

8000 feet or so. To use an overused word, it's awesome. I camped in the Sanctuary - the basin overlooked by the Face - more than 25 years ago and it's still one of my lifetime high points (literally as well as figuratively). The S face is huge - almost too big to get your head around when you look up at it. Soloing it is, to me, unimaginable.
dutybooty - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: I think very little is being said simply because most of us have sat here in awe. Plus, very little to argue against.

Not massively commercialised.
Not in bad ethics.
No bolts.
No fights.
No controversy...yet...
alooker - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: mind blowing!
Neil Rankin - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Awesome climb and awesome climber, but I still wince a little bit at the unadulterated hero-worshipping by some. Glad he caught great weather and conditions.
sbc_10 - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Not bad lad....anything on grit yet?.....

Surprised he sits down long enough to be photographed...
woollardjt - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Neil Rankin:


by - Neil Rankin on - 04:21 Mon
In reply to UKC News:

Awesome climb and awesome climber, but I still wince a little bit at the unadulterated hero-worshipping by some. Glad he caught great weather and conditions.


Hardly hero worshipping, just showing respect to an achievement that deserves it
Denni on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

I can't even fathom how someone could manage to do this, unbelievable! I met him briefly in Chamonix having a brew when we were travelling round europe in our campervan.

Such a nice bloke, was fascinated by our VW and was happy to have a talk about mountains and life in general. Really nice bloke and so grounded.

Max factor - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: you only need to read Annapurna South face by Chris Bonington to see how much things have moved on. That book from 1971 epitomises the seige tactics of the day. Phenomenal achievement!
Robert Durran - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Max factor:
> (In reply to UKC News) you only need to read Annapurna South face by Chris Bonington to see how much things have moved on. That book from 1971 epitomises the seige tactics of the day.

Things ceratainly moved on very rapidly between 1971 and the Catalan ascent in 1984, which still surely ranks as one of the top few mountaineering achievements of all time. So perhaps things have actually moved on surprisingly slowly in the last 29 years. This is not to take anything away from Steck (it more makes the Catalan ascent seem even more ahead of its time) and he was, of course, solo and very fast, but one wonders what he could achieve if he had a partner and went a bit more slowly (Makalu West Face?).

Jamie B - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Neil Rankin:

> Awesome climb and awesome climber, but I still wince a little bit at the unadulterated hero-worshipping

It may well be deserved though; I'm trying to think of a comparable solo on a technical face on an 8,000m peak, and thus far drawing a blank. This ascent pretty much defines futuristic for me.
Robert Durran - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Neil Rankin)
>
> It may well be deserved though; I'm trying to think of a comparable solo on a technical face on an 8,000m peak, and thus far drawing a blank. This ascent pretty much defines futuristic for me.

Humar on Cho Oyu?
Not as fast, but so what?
There must be others.


Fultonius - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> [...]
>
> Humar on Cho Oyu?


Got any links to that? A quick google came up with nowt. Is cho oyu not meant to be fairly straightforward anyway?

Robert Durran - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Fultonius:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Got any links to that? A quick google came up with nowt. Is cho oyu not meant to be fairly straightforward anyway?

Oops! Meant Dhaulagiri.

Fultonius - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: No top-out, no tick. Back around....

But yeah, that was a pretty fine effort. Somehow I think Ueli operates with a little more margin for error than the late Tomaz, but that's just wild speculation ;-)
planetmarshall on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: Krzysztof Wielicki's solo 1 day ascent of Broad Peak in '84 would be the obvious example. I'd say that was pretty futuristic.

Andrew.
Robert Durran - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Fultonius:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) No top-out, no tick. Back around....
>
> Somehow I think Ueli operates with a little more margin for error than the late Tomaz, but that's just wild speculation ;-)

Maybe he's just more aware of his limits, but is good at going very close to them.

Jamie B - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Fultonius:

> Somehow I think Ueli operates with a little more margin for error than the late Tomaz

The classic Alpinist's margin - move fast, spend less time in the danger zone!
Flinticus - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to davy_boy:
Yeah, me too, though having READ some books on the big peaks (including Humar's) I am still left struggling to comprehend how he could do it so fast.
scarface - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

I think for most of us we just can't comprehend what an effort it must have been and the ability involved. A totally new level.

We can all watch Usain Bolt smash the 100 m record, something like this is conveyed through a few still pics and a write up. If he had worn a head cam that would have been amazing.
Milesy - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Neil Rankin:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Awesome climb and awesome climber, but I still wince a little bit at the unadulterated hero-worshipping by some. Glad he caught great weather and conditions.

And what's your point? Some people look up to Eastenders Actors or people who kick a ball about a field for 90 minutes....

I wouln't deny I look up to Ueli myself. He is at a peak of fitness and climbing I could never hope to achieve in my lifetime and for that I am also in awe of his achievement.
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to James B:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Amazed this thread isn't getting more traffic.
>
> An all-time outstanding himalayan climbing feat.

But its incomprehendable really isn't it? Most of us have no idea how hard or how quick it is.

In comparison most of us know hard how hard the Cuillin Ridge is, and just what sub 3 means, so I'm not really surprised Finlays is getting more comments.

I don't think it's a slight on his achievement at all it's just for UK climbers FW's new record is something we have more comprehension of just how good it is.

Robert Durran - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to planetmarshall:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) Krzysztof Wielicki's solo 1 day ascent of Broad Peak in '84 would be the obvious example. I'd say that was pretty futuristic.

A non technical route though - hardly a step forward from many things Messner did. His solo of the South Face of Shishapangma in '93 in 24 hrs comes a bit closer (and perhaps puts Steck's solo of it nearly twenty years later in perspective, though it's probably the easiest big face on an 8000m peak and I think Steck was still finding his feet at altitude)
Max factor - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Wonder how he got a snap of himself on the S Face? look like he set it up on remote and then had to get in shot w/ just the one axe?

ericinbristol - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Sounds astounding.

It would be great if someone could set out some comparison to communicate the achievement e.g. how much faster/further/degree of difficulty/altitude than what has gone before. e.g. what would be the closest equivalent achievement and is it like that achievement but 50% faster?
James B - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to malk:

Thanks for that
purplemonkeyelephant - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=41296

Article/interview with Ueli on the climb. Interesting that Don Bowie bailed at the bergschrund because he didn't feel comfortable soloing that kind of terrain. I wonder how that conversation went..
Solaris - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Exactly. Incomprehensible to me. Eiger Nordwand in superfast time I can just about comprehend, this I can't.

Please would someone write a book or article that puts this obviously outstanding achievement in perspective. As it stands, it's a bit like looking at Olympus Mons and being told it's the highest peak in the solar system whilst not knowing the difference between the Ben and Mont Blanc. I say this not to denigrate the achievement in the least; quite the contrary.
nufkin - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Somehow watching 'Terminator' to unwind after the climb doesn't seem quite right
dereke12000 - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Max factor:
The photo is copyright Don Bowie, who set out with Steck but didn't apparently summit - see here: [http://www.donbowie.com/news-from-annapurna/#comments]

Anyway, what an amazing achievement!! Can't imagine what it took to summit and return again...
Solaris - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to mountain.martin:

> Taking 10 men 2 months to climb the face.

Thanks, that really puts US's achievment in perspective. Extraordinary.
jonathandavey - on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: A quickly put together edit of footage of the ascent. Helps to put it in a bit of perspective for me anyway.

http://www.vimeo.com/76978752
ena sharples - on 17 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: surely the greatest single push ever?
lummox - on 17 Oct 2013
In reply to ena sharples: just astonishing..
Alan Breck on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to UKC News: A fantastic achievement but I assume that because he carelessly lost his camera that there are no actual summit pictures. Does that present a problem a la Tomo?
Darren Jackson - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to jonathandavey:

Astonishing. At the end of that clip, he looks fresher than I do after having walked in to Stanage Popular.


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