The mile-high-plus Eiger North Face: One and three-quarter hours to Death Bivouac; just under four hours to the top.
Courtesy of www.uelisteck.ch.
Switzerland’s Ueli Steck has soloed the classic 1938 route on the North Face of the Eiger in 3 hours 54 minutes. Steck climbed the 6,000-vertical-foot route over two days in mid-February with a partner, and then returned three days later to solo it. He self-belayed a few pitches with a 15-meter loop of rope tied through an anchor and then pulled up after the crux, but otherwise free-soloed.
Steck first climbed the face in 1995, when he was 18, and since has done a new route on the wall (The Young Spider), free-climbed the 5.12 La Vida e Silbar, and last year soloed The Young Spider over five days in winter. In 2005, he soloed the North Face of Cholatse and East Face of Tawoche in Nepal. This spring, he intends to solo a new route, alpine-style, on the South Face of Annapurna.
According to Steck, his pulse rate was 55 before the start, 178 on the initial slopes of the North Face, and 118 when he stopped the clock.Courtesy of www.uelisteck.ch.
The previous speed record for the Eiger North Face was approximately 4 hours 30 minutes, set by Christoph Hainz from the South Tyrol region of Italy in 2003.
Date of Ascent: February 21, 2007