The body of experienced Swiss climber Ueli Steck is brought by helicopter to the morgue at T.U. Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, after he died while preparing to climb Mount Everest.
KATHMANDU, NEPAL (APRIL 30, 2017) (REUTERS) – An experienced Swiss climber died on Sunday (April 30) after he fell in the Everest region of Nepal during preparations to climb the world’s highest mountain, the first to perish in the current climbing season, officials said.
Ueli Steck, 40, died after falling to the foot of Mount Nuptse, a smaller peak in the area, said Mingma Sherpa of the Seven Summits Treks company that organised Steck’s expedition.
Steck was in the area acclimatising ahead of a bid to climb Everest through the less-climbed West Ridge route and traverse to Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak – at 8,516 metres (27,940 feet) – in May.
A veteran climber of Mount Annapurna in western Nepal, the world’s tenth highest mountain, and several other 8,000 metre peaks, Steck had won several awards for his mountaineering feats.
Last year, Steck and a German climber discovered the bodies of two famed American climbers, Alex Lowe and David Bridges, who were swept away in 1999 by an avalanche during their attempt to scale the world’s 14th highest peak, Shishapangma. “It’s reality in the mountain, it’s dangerous, we can die. It shows what can happen very easily.” Steck said after the incident.
Along with two other European climbers, Steck was involved in a brawl with sherpa guides over fixing ropes in 2013. The altercation, which forced the climbers off the mountain, drew international headlines.
Hundreds of climbers gather at Everest base camp during the March-May climbing season as they prepare to climb the 8,850 metre (29,035 feet) Everest Summit.