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In climbing I do things that I enjoy and want to do not the ones that are currently in fashion.
Muriel Sarkany
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 Interviews

Ueli Steck on His Alpine Solos
and a New Route on GII

 

 

ClimbandMore: I guess that the main reason of coming back to The Young Spider was wanting to do it in a better style, since during opening the route with Stephen Siegrist you did it in a style which can be called – siege. Is the purity of style so important to you?
Ueli Steck: Yes. The problem is that in summer afternoons there is a lot of rockfall, so we were usually just climbing until 2 PM and afterwards we had to go off the wall. Then there were a lot of thunderstorms. That was the reason why we had decided to use fixed ropes. The main goal was to open a new technical route.
The plan to try The Young Spider solo had been in my head for a long time. This winter I felt ready. It was a big challenge for me. All the Alpine solos I made were done fast. In this case the situation was completly different. The climbing was very hard technically and the temparature all the time between minus 25 and 30 degrees. My haulbag’s weight was about 50 kg. Bringing up the haulbag on the lower angle terrain was quite hard, but my plan was just pushing day by day. I had food supplies for 6 days and the weather was just perfect for the whole week. But on the other hand for all the time I was aware of the possibility of going down any time! I know this face by heart and I was able to rappel from every single place up there. In the last days, the only thought I had in my head was to keep going on, meter after meter. On the fifth day the conditions I found on the last few pitches were dangerous. The slabs were covered with snow. It was not possible to climb there. That was the reason why on the last pitches I went out to the left to the Heckmair exit. The whole climb was a great adventure for me.


Just like you said this solo was something new to you – before you had always soloed in light-and-fast style.  What is your general impression of that experience? Do you think about repeating it or you’ll rather stick to “light” style.
For me it was a good experience! Now I know I can climb hard pitches with selfbelaying. But in general soloing light and fast makes more sense. There are big faces where soloist can be faster than a team. So the situations when you can be more effective than a party of two people are what I am really interested in. The Young Spider was more like training.
Climbing such routes as Bonatti on Matterhorn makes more sense. I am sure you can solo this route totally safe in one day. This is just a step further…


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See also
 Fotogallery
Famous Climbers' Portraits
 Interviews
Ueli Steck on the Eiger Record Climb
 Mags
Campo Base 05/07
 News/Last added
New Route on Eiger
Successful FA of the North Face of Tengkampoche
New Speed Record on Eiger
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