Nicknamed 'The Swiss Machine', Steck is known for his outstanding ability in alpine free climbing. Since setting a number speed records up Europe's highest mountains, the last few years have seen Steck focus on climbing in the Himalayas to peaks in excess of 8000m. The joint ascent of Everest and Lohtse was one of Steck's major high altitude bids for 2013.
As storms braced Britain, the nation curled up on the sofa to watch former EastEnders actor Ricky Groves, the little one from dance troupe Diversity, every thirtysomething's first crush, presenter Michaela Strachan, Hollyoaks brainbox Gemma Merna and TOWIE's Gemma Collins take on their most terrifying reality TV challenge yet.
My name is David Tait - I'm an NSPCC Trustee and 'charity mountaineer' having now successfully climbed Mount Everest four times - in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. I climb to raise both awareness and money for the many violated kids - one of which was me. This is my first of many dispatches that will accompany my effort to summit for the fifth time.
Climbing Everest is so much more than the 20 minutes spent on top of the world. When I climb, I think it is good to remember why I am doing these big expeditions especially when there is often quite a lot of suffering encountered with high altitude mountaineering. The first thought is always for the pleasure and love of climbing. The love of the sport was the first thing that brought me to climbing, so it is always a powerful emotion to remember. I am hoping to raise £8,848, the same height as Everest in metres, for the charity Global Angels.