Ueli Steck is once again up to his old tricks, making a solo, speed-climb up the Ginat route on the Droites in the French Alps back on January 19th, and doing so in what may be a record time. According to this blog post on Alpine Exposures, the Swiss climbing legend sped up the face in just two hours and eight minutes.
The current official record for the route is two hours, thirty minutes, held by Christophe Profit, and although at this point, Ueli’s climb is considered “unofficial”, it is impressive none the less. Even more amazing that that he completed the little jaunt up the hill without acclimatization and after a two-month lay-off from alpine climbing. It was also the first climb up the face of the year, which means there were no trail blazed that he could follow. Ueli, his usual modest self, said he was just doing it for “fun”.
The climb was caught on film and a video is promised in the next few weeks. But for now, we’ll just have to settle for the amazing photos shot by Jonathan Griffith that appear on the blog post. The high quality images catch the master climber at work, with the stunning backdrop of the Alps around him. They also give you a great sense of what this big wall is all about, which offers a mixed route of ice and rock, that looks like it would be quite the challenge for mere mortal climbers. For Ueli though, it’s just a walk in the park. Back in the lodge by lunch time I’m sure. The man never ceases to amaze.
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