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.
We all have them don't we; stolen moments of fantasy! Where we imagine doing something out of our comfort zone and turning our lives into one great big adventure! These tend to find me on the London underground, on my depressingly dull way home from work. How many of us rarely step out of that cotton wool world we've created for ourselves?
When should children be allowed onto Facebook? The site says it only accepts users over the age of 13. New research published this week by Internet security giant McAfee and the Anti-Bullying Alliance says that most children use the Internet away from their parents' watchful eyes (which I can quite understand).
Without really noticing we've been heading towards the end of the traditional outdoors childhood. Something that many millions of adults took for granted is becoming the exception rather than the norm for today's children, where-ever they live. Roaming ranges are down, physical activity is down and the ability of children to identify common wildlife is being lost.
Stone skimming nestles at number five on the new '50 things to do before 11 3/4' list published by the National Trust this week... Stone skimming, that timeless past time that generations have enjoyed. Whether you skim yours on a beach, lake or river the experience and emotions are the same. This is partly about accuracy and technique but it's also about pride and raw emotion.
"Hey honey," I said, hands on my hips and a look of incredulity plastered across my face. "Do you know what I've always dreamed of? Putting these hands in a bucket full of maggots, staring into the water for 10 hours straight and a flapping fish slapping my face! I mean, do you know what a manicure costs these days?"
Making nature part of children's everyday experience is a simple and effective way of plugging them into the world around them. Children are naturally inquisitive and love to explore; it's about getting them hooked and excited about the simple things. It could be about watching ants marching to their nests, snails clinging to a wall or birds singing in a tree.