Ueli Steck has joined the World Team of Béal, the big French supplier of mountaineering ropes and harnesses. Born at Emmental in Switzerland in 1976, he has been climbing mountains since the age of 12. He has developed a specialty of ascending them alone, fast. His latest achievement was climbing up the north face of the Shishpangma in only 10 hours. Another new member of Béal's World Team is Manu Romain, the French climbing champion.