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

Before we finish the Eiger topic, I’d like to ask you about Yeti route. It has much publicity at the moment thanks to the first redpoint ascent by Robert Jasper. You made the second ascent of the route in 2001. What was the style of this ascent and how do you remember climbing on that line?
I climbed all the pitches on sight, and Stefan had some hangers. It went well until the last pitch which was graded 6a by the Italians. I was just confused up there. Now Robert rated the roof 7c//c+ and this makes more sense. The lower two pitches I estimated 7b and 7c, similar to Robert’s grades. Stephan and me were switching the leads. We were just climbing up there. If the pitch went free – OK, otherwise we would just kept going…

Let’s talk about another big solo you made this year: The Bonatti Route on the Matterhorn. It puzzles me why did you choose such a rarely used tactics and started climbing in the midle of the day?
I planned to make a climb in 3 days. Like Catherine. I was at the Hörnli Hut at 12.00 and the weather was just perfect. So I decided to go up to the start of the climb and bivy up there. In this way I wouldn’t have to cross the glacier by night and risk falling into a crevasse…
At 1 P.M. I was already on the upper plateau and it was more and more cloudy. I didn’t like to wait the whole afternoon and the whole night as it was freezing cold, so I thougt that I would find a bivy higher up for sure and I just started climbing…

Can you tell something about the conditions on the wall? It’s said that in March there was not much ice in the Alps.
Yes, it looked completely dry. I crossed two people who turned back from the Schmidt route. They said there was not enough ice. In spite of that news I decided to try. On the Bonatti the lower part was just drytooling… On the second day there was thin but very good ice almost the whole way up. From below you don’t see this thin black ice… So it’s just anther proof it’s always good to go and have a look!

But it’s still amazing to hear you self-belayed only on one pitch. Destivelle reported that some parts of the route were tottaly rotten…
I knew the Destivelle’s story very well. And I planned exactly the same strategy. That’s why I had lots of gear in my backpack… I mean it took her one day to make the Traverse, for me it was maximum one  hour… But I think I had much better conditions and I didn`t belay myself. She lost a lot of time putting a good pro..  I think that in case of this route, using drytooling technics is a really big change. I climbed almost the whole way up with my iceaxes… This is one of the routes which you can climb really fast when you do it solo.  


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See also
Famous Climbers' Portraits
Ueli Steck on the Eiger Record Climb
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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