Famed moun­taineer Ueli Steck dies while climb­ing near Ever­est

Adventure - - Dispatched -

Long time con­trib­u­tor to Ad­ven­ture Mag­a­zine and a climber that we had the up­most re­spect has died. On Sun­day, per a re­port by the New York Times, famed moun­taineer Ueli Steck — nick­named the “Swiss Ma­chine” — died in a climb­ing ac­ci­dent at a camp near Mount Ever­est. He was 40. A guide work­ing for the Seven Sum­mit Treks com­pany told the As­so­ci­ated Press that Steck died near Camp 1 of Mount Nuptse in Nepal. Steck was at­tempt­ing to climb the 25,791-foot Hi­malayan peak to ac­cli­mate for an am­bi­tious up­com­ing as­cent of Mount Ever­est, ac­cord­ing to the Times. Mau­r­izio Folini, a he­li­copter pi­lot who trans­ported Steck’s body to Kathmandu, told the New York Times that Steck had fallen more than 3,280 feet down the moun­tain on Sun­day. Steck had been climb­ing alone at the time of his fall be­cause his climb­ing parter, Tenji Sherpa, had a frost­bit­ten hand, per the Times. In a phone in­ter­view with the Times, Sherpa told the news­pa­per that the pass­ing of Steck “is a big loss to moun­taineer­ing world­wide” and said he was “shocked by his death.” A state­ment posted to Steck’s per­sonal web­site on Sun­day said that the cir­cum­stances surrounding his death are still un­known: Ueli Steck was killed while try­ing to climb Mount Ever­est and the Lhotse. His fam­ily has learned of his death to­day. The ex­act cir­cum­stances are cur­rently un­known. The fam­ily is in­fin­itely sad and asks the me­dia builders to re­frain from spec­u­la­tion about the cir­cum­stances of his death due to re­spect for Ueli. The 40-year-old Steck leaves be­hind an en­dur­ing legacy as one of the most renowned and record-set­ting climbers of his generation. A pro­po­nent of the “fast and light” climb­ing tech­nique, Steck made his name in the moun­taineer­ing world for his speed-climb­ing. Of his many records, Steck was known for set­ting the speed record on the north face of the Eiger in Switzerland, climb­ing the famed 5,500-foot face in 2 hours and 22 min­utes in 2015. His will­ing­ness to push his lim­its saw Steck com­plete the first unas­sisted solo climb of the south face of An­na­purna in Nepal in 2013 after al­most dy­ing on the route in 2007. Steck was given the Pi­o­let d’Or for that sum­mit, the most pres­ti­gious award in the moun­taineer­ing com­mu­nity. He fol­lowed that up with a project in 2015 that saw him climb all 82 peaks in the Euro­pean Alps above 4,000 me­ters in 62 days. For the project, he lim­ited his travel up and be­tween all the moun­tains to hik­ing, bik­ing and paragliding so that his ef­fort was com­pletely man-pow­ered.

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