Share

Ueli Steck First Climber to Make Solo Ascent of Annapurna's South Face

By Lorraine Boissoneault
Published: November 11, 2013

This photograph taken in December from an ultra light aircraft shows an aerial view of the Himalayan Mountains featuring Mount Annapurna south range viewing from Pokhara, some 200 kms west of Kathamndu. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck became the first person to make a solo ascent of the south face of Mount Annapurna on Wednesday after attempting to make the summit twice before and nearly dying in one attempt. 

Steck sent a text saying, "Summit, alone, South Face," to the base camp after reaching the top of the 26,545-foot mountain, reported Outside Magazine. The mountaineer quickly made it back down to the base camp after the summit, according to Planet Mountain, although no further details about the historic climb have been made available yet.

The South Face of Annapurna is considered one of the most technically difficult climbs in the world. It includes a 12,000-foot vertical wall of ice, rock and snow and unpredictable avalanches regularly rush down it, says "Annapurna South Face," by Chris Bonington. 

(MORE: Terrifying Trail in Spain)

Steck's successful summit is all the more impressive considering his previous failures, one in 2008 and one in 2007. In his first attempt, Steck was hit by a rockfall and fell close to 1,000 feet, but survived with minor injuries, says Climbing.com. In 2008, Steck and his partner Simon Anthamatten were forced to quit their climb in an attempt to save stranded Spanish climber Inaki Ochoa de Olza. With his third attempt, Steck finally realized a goal that he has strived for since his early days as a climber.

"To walk through life in a comfortable way is not my goal," Steck wrote on his blog before leaving for the Annapurna expedition. "That is why I want to try to climb Annapurna a third time. I would like to implement my dreams and visions into reality."

MORE: 10 Heart-Stopping Adventure Vacations

9 Sep 1999: Canyoning in the Alpes Maritimes in the Provence-Alpes region of France. (Pascal Rondeau/Allsport/Getty Images)


Featured Blogs

Vance Forms in the Eastern Pacific; the Atlantic Goes Quiet

By Dr. Jeff Masters
October 31, 2014

Tropical Storm Vance formed in the Eastern Pacific on Thursday afternoon. The storm's heaviest rains will remain well offshore from Mexico through Sunday, but Vance is expected to make landfall in Mainland Mexico northwest of Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday night. Vance's moisture will likely bring heavy rain to Texas on Wednesday.

September 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By Christopher C. Burt
October 22, 2014

September was globally the warmest such on record according to NASA and NOAA. Deadly flooding affected the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan as well as in southern France, China, and Serbia. Record heat occurred in Jakarta, Indonesia and south-central Canada. It was the driest September on record for the U.K.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.