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Ueli Steck’s Partner for Everest Traverse Returns

Ueli Steck and Tenji Sherpa on Island Peak.

Sherpa Tenji is going for the Everest/Lhotse Traverse that he was meant to join Ueli Steck on in 2017.

Tenji suffered frostbite before he and Steck attempted the traverse and had to descend.

Steck stayed in Nepal and later fell to his death on Nuptse on April 30.

One of Steck’s good climbing partners and photographer Jon Griffith posted on social media, “Two years ago I came up with the crazy idea to Live Stream and shoot a 3D Virtual Reality Film of Ueli Steck climbing the Mount Everest – Mount Lhotse traverse.

“It’s been without a doubt the most ambitious production I have ever tried to put together, but I’m excited to be shooting Ueli’s climbing partner Sherpa Tenji attempt to finish off what Ueli had started, and in his style.

“For me it’s about honouring the memory of one of my closest friends and bringing the Nepalese climbing community to the main stage… ish us luck and good weather!”

We will have continued updates from their attempt.

Steck’s Death

Steck died while acclimatizing for an attempt of the Hornbein route on the West Ridge of Everest without supplemental oxygen.

This route had been climbed only a few times, the last of which was in 1991. His plan was to climb the Hornbein Couloir to the summit, then proceed with a traverse to the peak of Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest mountain. This combination has not been achieved.

On April 16, during preparations for the attempt, Tenji suffered frostbite, which would take some weeks to heal. Steck carried on with scouting and acclimatisation, climbing up to Everest’s Camp 2, en route to the South Col.

On April 29, he changed his plans, texting Tenji that he was about to instead climb the nearby peak of Nuptse, and did not respond to a follow-up question.

On April 30, he began climbing around 4:30 a.m., accompanied initially by French climber Yannick Graziani. Approximately 300 metres below the summit, he fell an estimated 1,000 metres, seen by several Sherpas and expedition members around the valley.

It is not known what caused the fall.