No ropes, no oxygen, no problem – Ueli Steck has conquered Annapurna, the most treacherous of the eight-thousanders, solo.
The best climber on earth destroyed one of this planet’s most difficult and dangerous climbs, and he did it alone, without a rope or oxygen tank.
Setting off from base camp in the early morning on Oct. 9, Steck ascended the imposing south face of Annapurna all alone after his climbing partner, Don Bowie, decided it was too technically demanding to climb the face without a rope. From there, Steck trekked onward, alone, pushing into the cold sky with only minimal supplies strapped to his back.
From base camp to summit and back down, the record-breaking climb took Steck just 28 hours. The climb toward the tenth-tallest peak on Earth wasn’t without its own complications. At one point, Steck lost an outer glove while attempting to photograph the Annapurna 1′s famous headwall – the last cliff face en route to the summit. From there to the top (and back down again) Steck was forced to switch the glove from hand to hand as each froze in the thin night air.