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Year in Review 2010 (December 13, 2010)

Ueli Steck Mountain Climbing
2010 was a tough year.

It was also a very strange year. After a strenuous year of demanding training, and a great deal of research, I was unable to make my anticipated expedition to the Himalayas. As you can imagine, this was quite disappointing. I asked myself over and over again whether or not I had the patience to continue such a difficult goal.

My objectives for the upcoming year are very clear, but again I must question whether not these goals are realistic. What happens in the case that I fail? It’s overwhelming to even consider the time and energy that's required to plan for such a significant expedition; especially with the great possibility that I may not be standing on top of the summit when the journey is complete.

When these thoughts enter my head, I must remind myself that I can't fail, because standing on the summit isn't the goal. The courage to attempt such a difficult task is the goal.

The one thing that I am confident of, is my decision to take a year off from the Himalayas project. In fact, it is this decision that motivates me for the projects that I will take on 2011. I cannot wait to return to Nepal. I take this feeling as a very positive sign. Ultimately, this period provides me with more time to train.

On the other hand, 2010 was also a wonderful year. I completed my second book, Speed. Writing this book was an important step in my development as a person. I continually ask myself if I will ever find a job that will be as rewarding as mountain climbing when my career is complete. I doubt that I will ever find similar challenges in another profession. But I also realize that I will not be able to maintain my current performance level forever. There are countless examples of athletes who have fallen after having very successful careers. Missing the daily challenges of their work must be difficult to cope with on a daily basis.

But writing this book reminded me that there are other things in my life outside of mountain climbing. In fact, there were times when I was so focused on writing, that I failed to notice even the most beautiful days which would otherwise be perfect for climbing. I felt satisfied by what the pen and paper brought to my life. And I am very content with what this book has accomplished. 10,000 copies have already been sold, and the book's third edition is currently being prepared. I want to thank everyone that purchased a copy of the book!

Athletically, my year was very satisfying. In January I accomplished a speed record at Les Droites. In the spring there was an excursion to Yosemite National Park in the United States. And in the summer I performed a solo enchainment at the Dolomites.

Thank you for your patience and support.
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