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Ueli Steck, 41, dies in a fall while acclimatizing on Nuptse for his planned Everest-Lotse traverse.
Tragic news from Nepal Sunday morning: The famed Swiss climber, Ueli Steck, was on Nuptse (25,791 feet) yesterday on a solo oxygen-less acclimatization climb for his planned Everest-Lotse traverse.
The Himalayan Times wrote that he had been seen climbing near the Nuptse Face in the early hours of Saturday, and may have slipped and fallen on the icy slope.
The helicopter pilot who brought Steck’s body to Kathmandu reported high winds on Sunday, and that Steck had fallen more than 3,280 feet.
Steck summited Mount Everest without oxygen in 2012. This was to be his second attempt of the difficult Everest-Lotse traverse. His 2013 expedition came to an abrupt stop after an altercation with Sherpas.
In an interview with Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger last month, Steck said: “When I’m on Everest I can stop at any point. The risk is therefore quite small. For me it’s primarily a physical project. Either I get through, or I don’t have the strength for the whole traversal”.
Steck called his attempt of the Everest-Lotse traverse, which would include an overnight above 8000 meters (the Death Zone), “a very high goal.”
“Failure for me would be to die and not come home,” he said.
Steck posted the below photo on his Instagram account just four days before his death.
A post shared by Ueli Steck (@steckueli) on Apr 26, 2017 at 1:05am PDT
Steck was climbing alone and apparently unprotected. His body was recovered at the base of West Nuptse, and is now being transported to Kathmandu. His family has been notified.