Scary-Fast Mountaineer Designs the Ultimate Ultralight Alpine Gear

Imag­ine how long it would take to reach the top, 102nd, floor of the Empire State build­ing if you had to walk up the stairs to get there. Now imag­ine that some­one stacked five Empire State build­ings on top of one anoth­er and asked you to walk up the stairs to get to the top. How long would it take you to get there? No, scratch that. Imag­ine that there are still five Empire State build­ings stacked up but instead of stairs you now have to climb the ver­ti­cal out­er walls to get to the top. How long? I know—it’s a stu­pid ques­tion because you would­n’t do it. But that’s because you aren’t Swiss speed-moun­taineer­ing leg­end and Moun­tain Hard­wear ath­lete, Ueli Steck.

In 2008, Steck set a speed record on the treach­er­ous 5,900-foot north face of the Eiger by sum­mit­ing the near-ver­ti­cal behe­moth in…wait for it…two hours and 45 min­utes. That’s about how long it’d take you to fin­ish watch­ing The Lord of the Rings. Kin­da makes you feel like a Hob­bit, does­n’t it? (You can watch Ueli in all his speed-moun­taineer­ing glo­ry in the video above.)

While you aren’t going to beat the Swiss phe­nom­e­non in a race up the moun­tains of Mor­dor any­time soon, you can still take a page out of his book to help crush your own pre­cious per­son­al best. Steck teamed up with Moun­tain Hard­wear design­ers to cre­ate the ulti­mate ultra­light speed-moun­taineer­ing kit.

Here’s what they came up with: