Last March, Steck broke the previous solo record, also by a large margin, with a time of 3 hours 54 minutes. The old record had been set by Italian Christoph Hainz in 2003.
Steck increased his speed this year by only occasionally clipping a sling to fixed pieces for protection. Last year he self-belayed three times with a 15-meter cord. Steck also said he lightened his equipment by three kilograms (about six and a half pounds), and that hard training had reduced his weight by five kilos.
Read the extensive report by Dougald MacDonald at Climbing.com.