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Speedy ascent Climber Ueli Steck summits 82 peaks in 62 days

Steck's record climb up the north face of Matterhorn was only recently surpassed by fellow Swiss Dani Arnold

(Keystone)

Legendary Swiss climber Ueli Steck and German alpinist Michi Wohlleben have completed the challenge of climbing 82 Alpine peaks over 4,000m in 62 days. They managed to achieve the feat without the use of any motorised transport. 

The mountaineer nicknamed the “Swiss machine” ended the 82 summits campaign by reaching the top of the 4,102m Barre des Écrins mountain in the French Alps on Tuesday. Steck and Wohlleben travelled by bike or foot between the base camps, and tried to paraglide back down from the summits into the valleys where possible. 

82 Alps in 80 days Ueli Steck aims for new climbing high

This summer, Swiss speed climber Ueli Steck is planning to scale all 82 European Alps over 4,000 metres in 80 days. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

The "Swiss Machine" and his climbing partner Michi Wohlleben aim to attack the more challenging routes on peaks in Switzerland, Italy and France.

The two mountaineers will travel by bike or foot between the base camps, and paraglide back down from the summits into the valleys where possible.

They are not the first climbers to attempt all 82 four-thousanders. In December 2006, Miha Valic climbed the 82 summits in 102 days, but drove between mountains in a van.

Steck and Wohlleben are an established team. In 2014, they climbed the three North Face routes on Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Dolomites, the first winter link-up of all three walls, in only 16 hours.

Ueli Steck has been labelled a 'game changer' in the mountain-climbing community. In October 2013, he set a new record by solo climbing the South Face of Annapurna, one of Nepal’s most challenging mountains, in just 28 hours.

“For me it was a beautiful experience, a beautiful voyage,” said Steck after shattering his own expectations: He had set aside 80 days to complete the challenge that commenced on June 11. 

He didn’t seem exhausted, commenting on his Facebook page: “I am still super psyched, I could move on.... let’s see what comes next!” 

The project was marred by a bittersweet note however, when Dutch climber Martijn Seuren lost his life due to a fall off a ridge of the Mont Blanc massif on July 22 during a joint climb with the pair. 

Steck and Wohlleben are not the first climbers to attempt all 82 four-thousand peaks. In December 2006, Miha Valic climbed the 82 summits in 102 days, but drove between mountains in a van.

 

swissinfo.ch

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