Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck (34) has successfully started into his ninth Himalaya-Expedition. He climbed in 10 1/2 hours and alone the over 2000 meter high south-west-face of Shisha Pangma, with its 8027 meters of altitude the 14th highest mountain in the world.
Ueli Steck has successfully implemented his idea "Speed" from the Alps into the Himalaya: to climb big difficulties in big altitudes and this as fast as possible.
Ueli Steck acclimatised himself one month in the Khumbu Valley on the south side of Mount Everest (Nepal) and he moved on from Kathmandu to Shisha Pangma on April 10, 2011.
Shisha Pangma is the only peak over 8000 meters which lies completely in Tibet (China). Two days lasted the trek to the basecamp (5250 meters). After another two days he went with his Canadian partner Don Bowie to the advanced basecamp (5800 meters) at the foot of the wall. Bowie felt not acclimtazed enough and in poor health so that he decided not to go for an attempt. Because of the favourable weather forecast Bowie agreed with Steck, that Ueli should go for an attempt alone.
On Saturday at 22.30 hours Ueli Steck started to climb. After 10 1/2 hours he summitted with the 2000 meter high south-west-face his third summit over 8000 meters and was less than 20 hours later back to basecamp.
Ueli Steck and Don Bowie will now continue their expedition. They will try to climb together Cho Oyu from the north side. Cho Oyu is with 8201 meters the six highest mountain in the world.