Himalayas

Ueli Steck dies on Mt. Everest

Swiss climber Ueli Steck was killed in a fall on Mt. Everest today.

Steck was one of the greatest mountaineers and all-around climber-athletes in the world. He was skilled and experienced enough so that an accident like this would be unlikely for him, however, free solo climbing (climbing alone without a rope) is dangerous, even for someone as skilled as Steck.

I’ve followed Steck’s career for a while, mostly because he’s an interesting guy, and also because those of us who were or still are climbers know what The Eiger North Face is and Steck not only free soloed it, he did it numerous times in under 3 hours. This is an incredible achievement because of the skill and daring involved but also because of the endurance involved. Steck was called “the Swiss machine” for a reason: he had tremendous endurance.

I posted about him here in 2011. Below is the video from that post.

Climbing Lunag Ri

Let me preface this by saying I used to climb, not a lot of alpine climbing like what’s depicted here, but serious rock climbing on big walls in various places including Yosemite Valley.

This video shows David Lama and Conrad Anker as they become the first expedition to reach the headwall of Lunag Ri, a mountain that’s over 22,000 feet tall on the border of Nepal and Tibet.

This is very serious stuff and these guys are the best in the world at it. Still, it makes my stomach uneasy to see it.

More on the Lunag Ri expedition here: See David Lama’s expedition to an unclimbed peak.

There are images of mixed rock, snow, and ice climbing like this in the movie Meru which also features Conrad Anker and if you’re into this stuff, is well worth seeing.

[via Sploid]