Friday, October 23, 2015

Himalaya Fall 2015: Ueli Steck and Kilian Jornet Share Nuptse Base Camp

Just a quick update today from the Himalaya to shed a little more light on the amazing scene we caught a glimpse of in yesterday's post on the ongoing climbing operations in Nepal at the moment. It may have slipped under the radar for some readers who skimmed by that story, but two of the best alpine athletes in the world were actually sharing Base Camp on Nuptse over the past few days.

Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck and Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet met up in the Himalaya and had the opportunity to spend a bit of time together. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, these two men could compose quite the "Dream Team" of climbing if they were ever to team up on a project. Ueli is probably the better climber of the two, but Kilian is probably the faster man in the mountains. Both are known for their speed however, and have accomplished amazing things in the Alps, Himalaya, and beyond.

Ueli commented on the back that both men were in BC on Nuptse in a Facebook post. He said:
"We had a great day today. Colin and Ben went have a look at Nuptse on the lower part. Helias Kilian and myself did a little tour climbing. Its just great to hang out with this Guys. Very inspiring to me. And the hope for Nuptse is still alive!"
The other people that is speaking of include Colin Haley, his climbing partner on Nuptse, Ben Guiguonnet, and Hélias Millerioux, two young French mountain guides who staged a dramatic first ascent on Siula Chico, and are now hoping to find a new route up Nuptse as well.

As for Kilian, he appears to be back in the Himalaya simply to enjoy some time in the mountains. He has not announced any major plans for while he is there, and does't appear to have any intentions of climbing any big peaks. He is perhaps doing a bit of training to prepare for the spring 2016 season, where he will most likely attempt a speed record once again on Everest. This year that attempt was cut short when the April 25 earthquake brought an end to all climbing expeditions on the mountain.

Is there a chance we could see Ueli and Kilian team up in the future? Anything seems possible, and I believe there is a great deal of mutual respect between these two athletes. As I said above, this would be quite a team, and I'm sure fans of both men would like to see it happen. Only time will tell.

In other climbing news, 76 year old Spanish climber Carlos Soria is back in the Himalaya this fall, although he isn't there to take on an 8000 meter peak this time out. Instead, he hopes to climb Ama Dablam, the striking peak that is viewed so prominently throughout the Khumbu Valley. The mountain is 6812 meters (22,349 ft) in height, and is often used as a warm-up for other big climbs in the region, something Carlos doesn't really need.

That's all from the Himalaya today. More new soon I'm sure.

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