30 May 2011

Ueli Steck Turns around 1 Hour from the top of everest.

Well done to the 'Swiss Machine' For his first attempt at Everest

Taken direct from Ueli's Blog:  Himalaya speed, Project Himalaya

'Despite my down suit and the continuos movements I do not feel hot. I like the climbing, although it has not much to do with climbing. I would rather say its walking. In the ridge I go over bands to the First Step. Here I have to climb shortly. I do not climb up the fixe ropes. I don’t know how well they are fixed. I rather climb by myself, so I can see where I can hold myself. Now the famous Second Step. A steep 30 meter rock wall assured by a ladder. Once I reached the top I see the first alpinists in front of me. They are quite slow and I overtake them. Finally it gets dawn. I hope the sun can warm me a little bit. Still I cannot feel any difference. My feet have been numb for a while now. I can feel my heels get cold and without feeling. Not a good sign. I move on to the Third Step. A Sherpa tells me that I would need max. 1 hour to the summit. Shall I…? Shall I not…? It’s not long. But my feet. I am on another mountain, without oxygen. I have to accept that. I turn down. As fast as I can down. I do not want to sacrifice any of my toes for Everest. I am totally fit, I do move on fast and at around 9 am I am back at camp 2. The same day Don and I reach ABC.

The adventure Everest is over. Pity, I was doing well. I imagined that I would only suffer up there. Not at all. I am happy about that. I had a great feeling, I moved on, that’s what I am looking for, although I turned back 100 meters from summit. Of course I would have been nice to stand on top. For a moment I have thought to ask a sherpa if I could breathe 10 minutes of oxygen. Then I would have had again warm feet. But then I would have stood on another peak. So better to go down. Everest will stay and I can come back!'

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