The Gathering Storm
In light of Ueli Steck’s untimely passing, we look back at Freddie Wilkerson’s account of Steck’s 2011 training regimen as he prepared to complete his personal passion, “Project Himalaya.”
On April 17, 2011, Swiss climber Ueli Steck soloed the south face of Tibet's 8,027-meter Shisha Pangma, the 14th highest mountain in the world, in a jaw-dropping ten-and-a-half hours. The news may have taken the adventure world by storm, but Shisha Pangma is, in fact, only one stage of a multi-mountain, six-month odyssey Steck has dubbed “Project: Himalaya.”
In late February, Steck traveled to Kathmandu to begin this mega-expedition. I joined him for phase one: a month of acclimatization and warm-up climbs in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal. The following photos document his final preparations for Shisha Pangma.
Here, Steck is seen on the southwest ridge of Cholatse.