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It's an Ueli Steck moment


Ueli Steck on the Eiger's North Face in 2007.

Setting speed records in the Alps and Himalaya. Appearing on magazine covers and in inspiring YouTube videos. Helping design climbing gear for his sponsors. Speed alpinist Ueli Steck and his feats seem to be everywhere lately.

Steck's not just speedy and efficient in the mountains. At last winter's Outdoor Retailer show, I was told that Steck helped design this knife for Wenger, that Micro Stick for Leki, the Mountain Hardwear gear for this spring's Project Himalaya. I wondered if this was why he had to climb so darn fast.

He keeps popping up. This summer, on a Swiss train, I was treated to a rousing short video depicting Steck's 2008 record-breaking solo speed climb of the Eiger's North Face (2:47:33).

OK, OK, I was on the train that runs through the Eiger, so it was hardly surprising. But still, there was Steck, again, breaking his own 2007 speed record. (This April, Dani Arnold set a new record.)

Steck has been prominent in the climbing community and Europe for a while, but his prominence is soaring. Even my 7-year-old is enthralled and would like Mr. Steck's autograph, please. (p.s. Is there a fan club?)

It all adds up to an Ueli Steck moment.

If Steck mania hasn't hit you yet, check out the clip below from the 2010 film Swiss Machine by Sender Films.

The hard-working Steck will be at Outdoor Retailer next week, talking about his climbs and his gear, like the full kit he helped Mountain Hardwear design for his Himalaya Project (hold the extra features). Mere mortals will be able to buy similar versions of Steck's down jacket and pant, midlayers, baselayers, backpack, tent, and sleeping bag in 2012.


Filed under: Gear News, Outdoor Retailer

Comments

Rick-Pittsburgh
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
July 27, 2011 at 5:18 p.m. (EDT)

I posted the 2nd video a short time ago in regards to MH tents coming out.

We were talking about the possibility of the laminate on their new lightweight tent being the Dry Q tech that was mentioned here a bit back.

I am really interested to see how this type of technology is implemented into design for the consumer. I heard mention that Dry Q tech is more breathable than Event. Now granted I really do not have any solid reference to that claim.

This could be quite interesting. As I have previously stated, I love technology and innovation.

whomeworry
87 reviewer rep
2,224 forum posts
July 27, 2011 at 9:42 p.m. (EDT)

Pretty darn fast, he climbed the Eiger at the speed a healthy person climbs up a ladder.  Can't wait for his tech whisky flask. (Gotta have something to celibrate all those speed records with, once on top).

Ed

Rick-Pittsburgh
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
July 28, 2011 at 12:20 a.m. (EDT)

Mr. Steck is a beast.

Robert Rowe
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts
July 28, 2011 at 10:16 a.m. (EDT)

 A human "Spider Man".

And, I thought I was a "risk-taker" ....

Hate to say it ... but, probably destined to be a statistic.

A friend used to tell me, after I used that old expression: " ... Nine-times out-of-ten ... blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, etc.... " ... " Robert, that 10% will get you, trust me".

                                                 ~r2~

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
471 reviewer rep
2,913 forum posts
July 28, 2011 at 1:13 p.m. (EDT)

He's something, that's for sure.

I'm a bit fascinated and will report back if I get to speak to the man himself at OR in a week.

Rick-Pittsburgh
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
July 28, 2011 at 1:16 p.m. (EDT)

Alicia said:

He's something, that's for sure.

I'm a bit fascinated and will report back if I get to speak to the man himself at OR in a week.

 As I always say about the shows, "must be nice." :p

denis daly
72 reviewer rep
1,046 forum posts
July 28, 2011 at 9:38 p.m. (EDT)

Robert I am most certain Individuals said the same thing about "Destined to be a statistic" About Sir Edmond Hillary and Messner and quit a few well known Mountaineers and Climbers. If anything "Steck" and his Mentors before him transformed the Art and techniques of that sport. I look forward to hearing more about how he's shapeing Alpine Climbing now and see what it holds in the comeing years because of his skills.

Robert Rowe
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts
July 28, 2011 at 9:41 p.m. (EDT)

You couild be right, Mr. Daly ....

                                                    ~r2~

Louis-Alexis
171 reviewer rep
223 forum posts
July 29, 2011 at 12:02 p.m. (EDT)

I thought dry Q was developped by GE who incidently also develop event. Would they make something better for someone else?

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
471 reviewer rep
2,913 forum posts
July 29, 2011 at 12:23 p.m. (EDT)

Louis-Alexis said:

I thought dry Q was developped by GE who incidently also develop event. Would they make something better for someone else?

Mountain Hardwear (which is owned by Columbia and also owns Montrail) developed Dry.Q Elite with GE, makers of eVent.

In this case, Mountain Hardwear wanted to incorporate GE's membrane technology (read eVent) into its own proprietary fabrics, branded with its own proprietary name.

Mountain Hardwear's Dry.Q includes three categories: Elite, Active, and Core. While all are waterproof-breathable, only Dry.Q Elite uses GE membrane technology.

Here's a brief overview:

Mountain Hardwear's Dry.Q enters waterproof-breathable battle

300winmag
282 reviewer rep
273 forum posts
July 31, 2011 at 6:23 p.m. (EDT)

Even watching Uli free climb gives me an increased heart rate. REALLY risky climbing!

 

Eric

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