Ueli Steck dies on Everest

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Legendary Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck has been killed in an accident while acclimatising for an attempt to traverse Lhotse and Everest.

According to the Himalayan Times, “A group of six rescuers discovered a body of the multiple-record holder mountaineer near Nuptse Face of Mt Everest where he could have slipped and fell on the ice-covered slope. “The team has collected the scattered parts of the climber’s body.” A Fishtail Air helicopter has also been sent to Camp I to conduct a long line rescue, according to a source at base camp.

“Swiss alpinist Steck and Tenzing (Tenji) Sherpa headed to Khumbu region to attempt to climb Mt Everest by the never repeated West Ridge/Hornbein Couloir route without using supplemental oxygen in the spring climbing season. They also set out a plan to make a descend to the South Col before taking the once climbed direct route just below the Lhotse Face to obtain that summit record.

“Quick day from base camp up to 7,000 m and back. I love it, it’s such a great place here. I still believe in active aclimatisation. This is way more effective than spending nights up in the altitude!,” the climber posted on his facebook page on April 26.

“Steck, who won two Piolet d’Or awards in 2009 and 2014, is also famous for his speed records on the North Face trilogy in the Alps. He won his second award in 2014 after making the first solo ascent of Mt Annapurna. Steck who was the first recipient of the Eiger Award for his mountaineering achievements in 2008, also completed his 82 Summits project, ascending all 4000 m peaks in the Alps, in 61 days in 2015.

“According to him, he spent two nights in camp II. His facebook post on April 24 indicated that Tenzing suffered frostbite a few days ago.  “Hopefully Tenzing Sherpa frostbite is getting better soon so we can be together on the mountain again.”

Our thoughts are with Ueli’s family and friends on what is a sad day for the worldwide mountaineering community.

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