Ueli Steck Speed-Solos World’s 14th-Highest Peak

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Ueli Steck – The Swiss Machine from Mountain Hardwear on Vimeo.

Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck speed-soloed Shishapangma, the world's 14th-highest peak, racing up the mountain's 2,000-meter south face in 10 and a half hours.

Shishapangma is the smallest of the eight-thousanders, at 8,027 m, and is located entirely within Tibet. It was also the last to be climbed, by a Chinese team that summited in May 1964.

According to his website, Steck was in base camp for just two days before he and his partner, Canadian Don Bowie, continued to advanced base camp. With Bowie not sufficiently acclimatized and conditions excellent, Steck struck out on his own. He made the summit at 9 a.m. on Sunday and returned to base camp with his partner.

Steck and Bowie's next stop is Cho Oyu, the world's sixth-highest peak. The pair reportedly plan to climb a route on the north side of the mountain. Steck has been providing updates on his expedition's progress via SMS message posted to his website.

Steck, 34, currently holds the speed record for three of the Alps' major faces, most notably the Eiger. We talked to him last year about the challenges of speed, how he trains, and climbing with Alex Honnold. Check out the interview here.

–Adam Roy

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