UKC

Ueli Steck...Colton-Macintyre (VI,6) Speed Record: 2.20

On the 28th Dec 2008 Ueli Steck blasted his was up the north face of the Grandes Jorasses in another record time: 2 hrs 20 minutes.

Moving on from his 2.47hrs ascent of the Eiger north face in February 2008 he arrived in Chamonix on the 27th December with his eyes on the north face classic: the Colton-Macintyre (VI,6).

On the day of his ascent I was trying an abortive climb of Scotch on the Rocks and at 1.15pm I received a text from Ueli seeing if I wanted to meet up for a beer later. I naturally assumed that he had called off the climb as first it was in pretty bad nick and secondly the weather was incredibly cold and windy on the Jorasses.

Of course what many of us 'normal' climbers can't get our head around is the speed of Ueli when he speed-solos something. What had transpired is that Ueli arose at a leisurely hour, left his bivi spot below the face at 8am, and was back in Chamonix (having climbed down to Italy and got back through the tunnel) in time for an early lunch.

Steck climbs up a 1200m face, with some very bare and tricky mixed at the top and sections of 95 degree ice in the middle, at an approximate ascent rate of 10m a minute.

Comprehensive report with stunning photographs and additional information by Luca Signorelli at: www.alpineexposures.com



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