Ueli Steck, a Swiss climber and Suunto ambassador is arguably the best alpinist in the world. His most recent feat is a 28-hour round-trip solo of the South Face of Annapurna, an 8,091-meter peak in the Himalayas of north-central Nepal. It is widely known that this peak is one of the most dangerous mountains in the world to climb.
Considering that the last attempt of this extremely difficult route on Annapurna was in 1992 by Jean-Christophe Lafaille and Pierre Beghin, when Beghin was killed, Steck’s recent 28-hour record is more than astonishing.
In a recent report written by Jon Griffith of Alpine Exposures, Griffith writes (in the article's opening paragraph):
“I just got off the phone with Ueli. In short he soloed the South Face of Annapurna in a 28 hours round trip. He completed the Lafaille line up through the headwall and on to the summit. It's an ascent that pretty much baffles the mind. But it's an ascent he puts down to being 'lucky', ‘sometimes you've just got to get lucky in the mountains.’”
Among a long list of superhuman accomplishments, Steck has posted smoking times for round-trip solo feats in the Alps. One of the most well-known is the record that left him with the name “The Swiss Machine.” For this, Steck soloed the Eiger North Face in 2 hours 47 minutes roud-trip.
Photo by Jon Griffiths