Ueli Steck successful on Shisha Pangma....

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 ... read more

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.

Wounded soldier reaches north pole with charity trek team

A soldier from Widnes, who has a paralysed arm after being shot in Afghanistan, has reached the north pole after a 13-day trek. Capt Martin Hewitt, 30, reached the pole on Saturday, 16 April with the Walking With The Wounded team. Prince ... read more

A soldier from Widnes, who has a paralysed arm after being shot in Afghanistan, has reached the north pole after a 13-day trek. Capt Martin Hewitt, 30, reached the pole on Saturday, 16 April with the Walking With The Wounded team. Prince Harry, the patron of the charity, joined the team for the first four days of the expedition.

It is the first time a group of servicemen with such serious injuries have reached the north pole unaided. Capt Hewitt, who was part of the six-man team, said: "It was a fantastic experience, it really was. It was unique.

"Just prior to us getting to the pole, we stopped 400 metres short and got into a line abreast and walked across together. "The ice is constantly moving, so you're looking for the point.

 The Walking With The Wounded team reached the north pole unaided "That took us a little bit of time, but then the moment came when the guide turned around and said, 'boys, you're standing on the geographical north pole'.

"I felt a huge sense of relief that we'd made it, that we'd done it."

Capt Hewitt pulled a 220lb (100kg) sled for more than 170 miles (274 km) in the trek and with ice as hard as concrete, any falls by the soldiers could have meant the end of the expedition.

"An element of luck was involved with this, as with any expedition of this nature when the variables are out of your control - the weather, Mother Nature herself," he said.

"You need a bit of Lady Luck on your side."

Capt Hewitt was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment in 2004 and commanded a rifle platoon.

He was shot in the shoulder during combat in 2007. The bullet severed an artery and all nerves to his right arm.

The soldier also suffered a collapsed lung and a shattered shoulder blade and needed two life-saving operations in Camp Bastion.

Capt Hewitt then spent six weeks in hospital in the UK, followed by rehabilitation at Headley Court in Surrey.