The simpler the challenge is for Ueli Steck, the more compelling. And it was the promise of simplicity that initially drew Ueli to the mountains after a youth spent playing competitive hockey. "The rules were so clear. You get to the top of not. There is no maybe, no doubts… Sometimes just to be out there is so simple. You're happy as soon as you are laying in your sleeping bag with a warm meal.
Today, the thirty-four year old Swiss sometimes carpenter and full-time alpinist excels in virtually every style of climbing. "Every discipline is fascinating," says Ueli, whose staggering tick-list includes everything from El Capitan free climbs and 5.13 solos to 8,000 meter peaks and bold solos and speed records in the Alps and the Canadian Rockies. But don't be fooled by big numbers: his achievements are the by-product of a more personal goal. "I like to push my personal limits. It doesn't matter what the result is afterwards… For me it's most important to push my body to its full potential."
Ueli would prefer to let his accomplishments speak for themselves. In 2007, he broke the speed record on the North Face of the Eiger by nearly 46 minutes, sprinting up the 6,000 foot face in only three hours and fifty-four minutes. But Steck wasn't done. "The record meant nothing to me – I knew that was not my real best. I had just been faster than the others." After a year of disciplined training and conditioning, he returned to the Eiger again, and incredibly, cut another hour off his own record.
These days, Ueli is most focused on the high peaks of the Himalaya: in 2009, he reached the summits of two 8,000 meter peaks. In 2012, he summited Everest with no oxygen. Yet these climbs were only a warm up for a bigger dream, to solo a hard technical line on one of the world's highest mountains. Patience is important, he notes: "To climb something very difficult you need to be the right time in the right place, and remember the mountain is always stronger then you." Nevertheless – Ueli is going to keep trying.
You can bet on that.
Freddie Wilkinson believes that a climbing adventure is only as good as the stories you bring home. Wilkinson grew up in the flatlands of suburban Connecticut and climbed his first mountain –New Hampshire's Mount Washington – at age thirteen. By age 20, Wilkinson had climbed Denali via the Cassin Ridge and Nepal's Cholatse via the West Rib. Since then, he has spent three to four months of every year on expeditions around the globe. In between traveling, Wilkinson earned a degree in history from Dartmouth College and worked as a climbing guide in New England and Alaska. In 2007, Wilkinson established new routes on three different mountains on three different continents: Patagonia's Cerro Poincinot, The Fin in Alaska, and Mount Mahindra in the Indian Himalaya. That's pretty good – but Wilkinson still considers himself to be better at telling stories than he is a climbing mountains. He lives in Madison New Hampshire with his fiancé Janet Bergman in a 12 x 12 cabin with a view of the White Mountains.
In August 2010, Freddie published his first book, "One Mountain Thousand Summits: The Untold Story of Tragedy and True Heroism on K2". An insider's account of one of the deadliest and most controversial tragedies in mountaineering histroy-the 2008 K2 disaster.
Freddie's Climbing Highlights
- First ascents on Peak 5960 and Mount Mahindra, both in the Miyar Valley, India
- New routes on Cerro Poincinot, Torre Innominata and Desmochada in Patagonia
- Ascents of the Diamond Arête on Mount Hunter, Snow Patrol on Mount Dickey, and The Cassin Ridge on Denali
- A dozen El Cap routes
- Onsights up to 5.12b and M8+
- 2008 Climbed the North faces of Fitzroy, Mount Hunter, and Kangtega
- 2008 First ascents on Peak 5960 and Mount Mahindra, both in the Miyar Valley, India
Catch up with Freddie on TheNamelessCreature.com/
Tim is famous for his infectious enthusiasm. One of the UK's climbing elite, Tim is as happy on rock as ice; his versatility has seen him finish within the top 10 at the 2002 World Ice Climbing Championships as well as completing a series of hard ice routes, classic Alpine routes and notorious Scottish winter routes. In 2012 Tim completed the hardest ice climb in the word in Helmcken Falls, Canada
Always with an eye on something new, Tim has put up new routes as far a field as Mongolia, Cuba and Sri Lanka, a true pioneer of DWS (Deep Water Soloing) with trips to Vietnam and Thailand as well as venues closer to home in Europe. Tim is a published author, popular international speaker, and an accomplished wingsuit pilot.
James is an all-around shredder who, when not travelling for film and photo shoots, spends his time in the playground that is Pemberton, British Columbia. His former life of skipping high school and sacrificing his book education to spend as much time on skis as possible paid off with an opportunity to film with Matchstick Productions from 2007 to now. Known for his infectious enthusiasm to get after it, some famous words he teaches his mentees (like Michelle Parker) are 'you can't get hurt in the air'. The summertime for James includes downhill and cross country mountain biking, running and climbing. He'll try anything that sounds like a good time. Look for him on the slopes and take notes.
Michelle hails from the world-famous Squaw Valley area. She was only a year old when she skiied her first run and loves it just the same today. While she's spent plenty of time in the park, her focus has changed more toward the Freeride and Slopestyle realm. This has earned her huge accolades from the ski community, culminating with her banner year in 2012, which includes impressive finishes in the Redbull Coldrush and a feature female skier in this years' Matchstick Production's film 'Superheroes of Stoke'.
A mountain guide from Zermatt, Switzerland, in his first year on the tour, Anthamattan claimed 1st in the Freeride World Tour, Sochi. He took 13th in Big Mountain Fieberbrunn, Austria. Then in front of 7000 spectators, a (very) steep 600-meter face with technically advanced lines, smart and tactical decisions he secured 5th place in the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 stage for Samuel, resulting in a place at the podium as runner-up World Champion.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Angela Payne began climbing indoors at the age of eleven. Payne spent the next five years participating in junior sport climbing competitions before becoming focused on bouldering. Upon moving to Boulder in 2003 to attend the University of Colorado, Payne employed her plastic pulling skills to win three ABS National Championships and two PCA competitions in the 2003-2004 season. Over the next six years, more than ten top three finishes were added to Payne's competitive bouldering resume.
Her success isn't just limited to the indoor realm — Payne has numerous notable outdoor ascents under her belt. Between 2004 and 2010, Payne completed first female ascents of 17 boulder problems V10-V12. In 2010, after climbing European Human Being (video) V12 and No More Greener Grasses V12, Payne completed The Automator (video) and became the first woman in the world to climb a confirmed V13. These accomplishments earned Angela two Climbing Magazine Golden Piton honorable mentions and the 2007 Everest Award in Women's Bouldering. Payne currently resides in Boulder, Colorado, where she works as a veterinary assistant.
In the last few years I have taken my climbing to ever-higher levels in the disciplines of sport climbing and bouldering. I have fulfilled many long-term goals of mine: tie or beat Sharma in a comp (not really), climb V14 and on-sight 5.14, and climb the enigmatic Realization. My goals are to keep raising the bar for hard climbing, podium at a world cup, become a better surfer, live a eco-friendly life, go to college, cherish my family, friends, and animals, keep traveling, and enjoy new experiences.
AirShield™ Elite takes wind-protection fabrics to a new level of breathability. Unlike traditional windproof fabrics, AirShield Elite doesn't require body heat to trigger its breathability. It starts dissipating moisture the minute you put it on, before your body gets hot and clammy.
Dry.Q™ Elite is the first waterproof-breathable fabric to start breathing the minute you start using it. Unlike traditional waterproof-breathable fabrics, Dry.Q Elite doesn't require humidity to trigger its breathability. No waiting. No clamminess. Just shell functionality like you've always wanted.
Less weight. More warmth.
Most sleeping bags are sewn like comforters at a quilting bee: pockets of insulation stitched between sheets of fabric. We found a better way. By welding the shell fabric directly to the insulation, Lamina construction holds insulation in place without the cold spots caused by traditional stitching. This lets us create warmer bags at less weight. And because the construction reduces fiber compression, bags last longer, retaining loft and staying warmer over the long haul.
Dry.Q Active is used to meet the high-movement, high-breathability and low weight requirements of aerobic sports like running and skate skiing. The technology allows us to combine the waterproof protection of a hard shell with superlight and stretch fabrics. By engineering fabrics layer by layer and by combining performance fabrics in new ways, we can give athletes the protection of a rain-jacket with the lightweight stretch and moisture-management of a running top.
Traditional waterproof gloves quickly get heavy as water loads between the shell fabric and the waterproof liner. OutDry is different. OutDry bonds a waterproof breathable membrane directly to a shell fabric. There is no gap to load with water so gloves stay light and dry. And with no extra layer of water, gloves breathe better and stay flexible.
Even a waterproof glove gets wet on the outside. OutDry keeps gloves dry inside but can’t prevent exterior fabrics from wetting out. Q.Shield with ion-mask technology fuses extreme water repellency directly into shell fabrics. Q.Shield gloves repel water like a force-field. Dunk a Q.Shield glove in water and it will come out completely dry. The treatment has no effect on feel or breathability and will perform for the life of the glove.
Ueli Steck: Speed Climber
Superheroes of Stoke
Meet Michelle Parker
The Birth of the Ghost Whisperer
|Inseam||Short 30" – 76 cm / Regular 32" – 81 cm / Long 34" – 86 cm|
|Inseam||Short 30" – 76 cm / Regular 32" – 81 cm / Long 34" – 86 cm|
|Mens||Fits up to 5'6"||Fits up to 6'0"||Fits up to 6'6"|
|Womens||N/A||Fits up to 5'5"||Fits up to 5'10"|