Ueli Steck is a Swiss speed climber and alpinist who scales giant rock and ice faces at a rate so blurrily fast that it could be considered stupid. But the thing about Steck is he is incredibly precise and controlled. I am like a Swiss watch, you know. Very efficient, he says in the film. Swiss Machine chronicles Steck, a driven athlete who balances on the knife edge between safety and danger, as he speed climbs such routes as the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite with Alex Honnold (Mountainfilm 2010, Alone on the Wall). After setting the speed record on the north face of the Eiger at 3:50 hours, he decides to break his own time and spends a year training. The film culminates with Stecks ambitious attempts on the gorgeous, iconic peak as he sets outwith no room for mistakesnearly running up the snow-and-ice-blanketed peak.
- Nick Rosen
- Peter Mortimer