The Swiss climber Ueli Steck, 40, has died on a Mount Everest training climb on the nearby Nuptse. He had been acclimatizing to attempt the Everest to Lhotse traverse this spring.

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.

Ueli Steck  Photo Jon Griffith

On Wednesday, Steck wrote on Facebook, “Quick day from base camp up to 7,000m and back,” as he believed active acclimatisation was the most effective way of getting used to high altitude.

Asked about his definition of success for the traverse of Everest and Lhotse, he said, “To be not successful is just if you have an accident or if you’re going to die, that’s definitely not successful, all the other things, it’s a success already.”

Steck had climbed Everest without oxygen before and over the years set new standards in alpine climbing by setting a number of records for making fast solos of big and classic routes, such as the north face of the Eiger and Grandes Jorasses.

He was nicknamed the “Swiss Machine” because of his methodical approach and ability to continue after pushing to his limits.

More details as they are made available, visit Alan Arnette’s blog for more on the accident here.


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