To date, we have had over 8ooo Google searches land on our site as a result of people searching variations of “How does/what does Ueli Steck… insert train, eat, think”. Apparently folks are interested in these things.
Now that we’re back home in Switzerland and our Stock Site is loaded with photos of Ueli at Annapurna, I had some time to go through our personal photos from the trip and re-live what was one of the best experiences of our lives. Then came a photo request from the Swiss Alpine Club for their beautiful magazine Die Alpin. The editor wanted something more personal, not just Ueli doing his usual bad assery. We all know Ueli as the guy in the Swiss Machine hammering up the Eiger, so maybe it’s time to see what goes on behind the scenes, with friends, yet still in his world while focused on big objectives. And also, to answer those Google searches. I asked Ueli to respond here as well. The questions are very basic, yet truly get right to the heart of what he does.
How does Ueli Steck Train?
Ueli combines modern training principles with 100% dedication and focus. He has a great coach who keeps him on a strict program that he lets nothing interfere with. Ueli claims to not be a natural athlete, he’s just a hard working guy. No magic folks, he loves what he does, he’s passionate about climbing and he has the ability to keep razor sharp focus on what he wants.
Ueli Talks Training
What does Ueli Steck Eat?
Likely the most commonly asked question of professional athletes is centered around nutrition. I’ve spent a great deal of time around these people, and for the most part I can tell you, they eat real food. Nothing too special, just real food. “Real” being unprocessed, close to the source, and naturally occurring.
Ueli is no different, he doesn’t adhere to any special diet, he’s not Paleo, or Atkins, or into any other fads. He’s just a good Swiss and consumes sizable quantities of bread and cheese. But, while climbing or in performance mode, he does use science as it is both efficient and practical. He’s sponsored by PowerBar and uses their full range of product.
Ueli Talks Food & Nutrition
Ueli Steck : “I take care about food for sure. I try to eat as natural as possible. For sure I love fresh salad, but I make sure after climbing to get enough protein. And after running I fill up with carbohydrates. Bars and gels are just during training, after is real food.”
What does Ueli Steck Think?
Over the past few years we’ve become great friends with Ueli, we do a lot together, mostly for fun, a little for work. As a friend, I was admittedly hugely stressed out to see what he committed himself to at Annapurna. As we sat in Advance Basecamp watching him, Janine occupied her time by organizing nature, cobbling camp, re-routing and cleaning the water source, and then peeling about 40 apples for a fresh dessert. Meanwhile, I paced and tried not to think of the “what ifs”. Later, when Ueli was down, he spoke of never, ever, being able to imagine any “what ifs” when soloing. He just climbs, focused on the route ahead, staying in control, and being always sure he can climb down what he climbs up. He does these things for his life, not just to stay alive climbing, but in how he lives each day. Maybe this is what we can relate to, Ueli’s climbing as a metaphor for our own lives. I saw him maintain momentum when the weather was terrible, adapt to variables that came as a surprise, and as a leader, work with people in a purely positive manner. Ueli has developed these traits, combined them with performance athletic training and applied it all to arguably the most serious game there is. The results speak for themselves, this is the magic of Ueli Steck.
Ueli on Risk and Reward
Ueli Steck : “I think a lot about risk and life, and am very realistic about living. I know nothing changes when you climb something, the world is still the same. We all will die sooner or later. If you climb something, this is just for your own experience and for nothing else. Nobody is ever able to take away this experience. Never, ever. But, you also take all the risk and consequences. Which means if you fall, it’s only you, you get hurt or you die. When you die the world just moves on without you! That’s very simple. So make sure you get the experience you want to get.”
Some personal images to share. Great memories for all of us, and I hope a personal feel for what goes on behind the scenes.