Thursday, December 18, 2014

Forbes Interviews Ueli Steck

It isn't often that a mountaineer gets mainstream press from a source like Forbes, but then again, not every mountaineer is Ueli Steck. The magazine recently conducted a nice interview with the "Swiss Machine," which you can read in its entirety here.

In the interview, Ueli – who is one of the 2015 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year – discusses his admiration for Reinhold Messner, how he compartmentalizes fear on his climbs, and his now legendary solo-summit of Annapurna. He also talks about his approach to speed-climbing in the Alps – comparing those efforts to a game – and his thoughts on the events that went down on Everest this past spring, including the use of helicopters to reach Camp 2.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview is in Ueli's discussion of his post-Annapurna plans. He says that immediately following that climb, he felt no motivations what so ever, and he didn't even do much climbing or training last winter at all. He felt like he had achieved the ultimate climb he had been searching for, he was left rudderless afterwards, searching for a new challenge. Fortunately he seems to have found one, although he doesn't say exactly what that challenge will be. It will involve Everest however, although we'll have to be patient to see what he has planned.

As one of the highest profile mountaineers in the world, Ueli always seems to be working on some interesting projects. He has been rather quiet for awhile now, so I suspect he's been working out the logistics of his next big expedition. Perhaps he'll be heading back to the Himalaya in the spring. Considering the events that took place on Everest in 2013 when he, Simone Moro, and Jonathan Griffith got into a very public brawl with the Sherpas, it would be good to see him go back. At the time, a lot of harsh words were said, but it seems that the hard feelings have mellowed some.

To read more of Ueli's thoughts on these topics, and others, click here.

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