Most folks familiar with Ueli Steck’s achievements think of him as one of the world’s most accomplished alpinists. And that’s certainly accurate. But staying in shape for the world’s most visionary climbs involves a lot of training of the more everyday sort – running.
Because he does so much training (1,200 hours per year!), Steck says the simplicity and ease of running appeals to him. That, and the fact that – as he says – unlike with speed solo climbing, if you make a mistake running, you won’t die. So there’s that …
Lately, Ueli’s been doing a lot of his training in SCARPA’s new “mountain minimal” trail shoe the Spark.
“I run it mostly on single (track) trails in rocky terrain. The grip is just outstanding, it’s the perfect density – not too hard and not too soft,” Steck says. “The shoe gives a stable feeling because you are very close to the ground, but still offers enough shock absorbing.”
“It’s a shoe to run in the hills, and once you use it in the mountains you understand what it is made for,” he says.
Currently, Ueli’s over in Nepal on a climbing expedition, where these photos here were taken. And, with lots of snow in the high peaks, he’s still running in preparation for the climbing part of his journey.
If you’re interested in a more running-centric interview with Ueli on his rigorous training routine, check out this good Q&A over at IRunFar.