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Speed climbing ‘Swiss machine’ Ueli Steck reclaims Eiger record

The snow conditions were perfect for the ascent, according to Steck

(Ueli Steck)

Ueli Steck has set a new solo speed for the Eiger north face, reaching the summit on Tuesday in two hours, 22 minutes and 50 seconds. He beat the previous record held by compatriot Dani Arnold by over five minutes. 

“Good conditions on the Eiger. So cool morning climbing the Heckmair Route,” the 39-year-old alpinist stated on Movescount, the online community hosted by electronics company Suunto. 

Steck’s climbexternal link involved a vertical ascent of almost 1,600 m at an average speed of 1.1 km/h. At his fastest he managed speeds of up to 4.7 km/h. 

His 2008 Eiger speed record of two hours and 47 minutes was broken by fellow Swiss Arnold in 2011 who managed to scramble to the top in two hours and 28 minutes. However, Arnold still holds the speed record for the Matterhorn beating Steck’s record by ten minutes in April. 

This has been an eventful year for Steck. In August he succeeded in his quest to climb 82 Alpine peaks over 4,000 m in 62 days. The feat was achieved without the use of any motorised transport. His team travelled by bike or foot between the base camps, and tried to paraglide back down from the summits into the valleys where possible.

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