Kammerlander and Keck at Manaslu

He developed the foundation needed, a generally good physical constitution, alone through his profession. As a mountain and tour guide he is constantly out and about in nature, which leads to good basic endurance. A healthy lifestyle, balanced diet and, above all, many years of experience ensure the rest. After more than 20 years of expedition mountaineering, Keck’s body has adapted to cope with the various challenges of mountaineering – an especially big advantage when it comes to the ability to acclimatize at higher altitudes. Nevertheless before every high altitude expedition special training measures are necessary in order to be in top form when it comes to fitness and endurance.

Stephan Keck attaches great importance to variation in training. Especially when it comes to long training sessions and pushing through stamina workouts it can quickly become monotonous. Besides running – whenever possible in beautiful surroundings and, in the best case, straight into the mountains – extensive cycling training and ski touring in winter, Stephan Keck recently discovered paragliding. After extensive mountain tours with the motto „Hike and Fly“, it is now increasingly possible to return to the valley via paragliding. In fact, this makes even the way up more fun.

Mental preparation is also at least as important as physical fitness for an extreme mountaineer. To be fully aware of all the dangers, to be prepared for all eventualities on the mountain, to know the limits of one’s own body and to have a constantly sharpened mind providing protection from the deceptive temptations of an all too risky summit success belong just as strongly to high altitude mountaineering as the physical aspects. Despite, or precisely because of, his many years of experience, it is above all necessary to avoid all routined processes in order to stay focused on the essentials.

If you want to climb high- extensive and consistent training is essential. Precisely when you are working at your limit, perseverance and discipline are probably the most important qualities necessary in order not to put yourself and others at unnecessary risk. Especially as Stephan Keck always climbs „by fair means“ – without oxygen bottles and additional Sherpas. “There are two things that are above all important,“ says Stephan Keck, „a varied training program and the right attitude to the job”.