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Episode 14 # Steve House: The art of alpinism

Steve is perhaps most notable for his ascent of the Central Pillar of the Rupal Face, a 4100m wall on Nanga Parbat in northern Pakistan with his fellow climber Vince Anderson. They completed the climb in a little over a week and the accent won him and Anderson the prestigious Piolet d'Or accolade. Steve describes the ascent as the culmination of "years of a physical and psychological journey."

He is vocal in his support of "alpine style" climbs, which involve travelling quickly with little gear, and leaving no gear on the mountain. According to legendary Reinhold Messner, today climbing has become a global phenomenon where most climbers around the world act like they are in a climbing movie with beautiful, colourful Gore-Tex suits. In contrast, Steve says, “My most rewarding days were days when I cut away everything.” And with these few words he holds the same line as the pioneers Mummery, Bonatti, and Robbins. It’s the style that makes the difference.


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