National

Famed Swiss alpinist dies in Nuptse bid

- KUMBHA RAJ RAI, OKHALDHUNGA

May 1, 2017-

Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck, who had set a string of records for making quick solo ascents of mountains, died on the slopes of Mt Everest on Sunday morning while attempting to climb Mt Nuptse.

He died at 7:30am in an accident on Nuptse wall (6,600m)—between Camp I and Camp II on Mt Everest—which separates trail to Mt Nuptse, making the first casualty of spring expedition 2017.

Steck had secured three separate permits for Mt Everest, Mt Nuptse and Mt Lhotse to possibly make another record of quick ascents of three mountains in the same season, said Mingma Sherpa, managing director of Seven Summit Treks, the handling agency of his expedition.

“He fell 1,000 metres into a crevasse and died on the spot. The Everest Base Camp was informed about the accident at 10:00am.”

Body of the 41-year-old renowned climber was retrieved by six high-altitude mountain guides before being flown to Kathmandu.

Ang Tshring Sherpa, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), said Steck might have slipped while climbing alone.

Steck reached the summit of Everest in 2012 without oxygen. In 2015, he climbed all the 82 Alpine peaks over 4,000 metres in 62 days.

In one of the boldest Himalayan climbs in history, Steck completed the first solo ascent of Annapurna’s South Face in record 28 hours in 2013.

The same year, attention to Everest was drawn when Steck and his fellow climbers were involved in a high-altitude brawl.

Italian mountaineer Simone Moro and Steck and their British photographer Jonathan Griffith were involved in the fight, which ensured when they knocked ice down on a Sherpa below.

The high-altitude climbers had then charged that many foreign climbers, in their quest for a new discovery, do not consider any safety advice of the experienced Sherpas. Yes, solo climb has become a matter of concern.

We have been advising the government for long to discourage solo climbs by foreigners,” said the NMA president.

Published: 01-05-2017 07:59

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