Enigmatic Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck has completed what he set out to do only a little over 60 days ago; climbed all peaks in Western Europe above 4000m. The 82 Summit Challenge, but with the added twist that he travelled between the mountains under his own steam, by bike as opposed to motored transport.
Beating the previous record that stood at 102 days since 2006 and used a van to get between the peaks, Ueli smashed the 82 Summit Challenge in 62 days. Involving over 100,000m of altitude and 1000km of cycling; it is an amazing achievement – not least of all because Ueli had to deal with the tragic death of a climbing partner, Martijn Seuren, who fell on the border of France and Italy on the 22nd of July. Steck had originall started out with German Alpinist Michi Wohlleben who had to withdraw after breaking his leg during a descent using a paraglider. Despite the death of one of his partners and the injury of another, Ueli vowed to complete the challenge in honour of the Dutchman which he did a mixture of other partners, sometimes even being joined by his wife.
On finishing the 82 Summit Challenge, Ueli posted the following message on his Facebook page “Yesterday we finished the 82 Summits.I am super exited. The morning yesterday started with a 3.5h detour. I missed the trail in the dark and i run up the wrong valley. Around 8.00 am i was back down at the Parking to start again, this time in the daylight and with already a good warmup! Climbing les Ecrins was just great, nice conditions. Today we heading down to Ceuse to celebrate and to see if we still can hold on on steep Limestone.
I am still super psyched, i could move on…. lets see what comes next!”
All that distance, and still able to take a pretty big detour on the last day and beat the record by 40 days. That’s Ueli Steck!