On Feb. 24, during an attempt to climb the Eiger’s north face, Julian Zanker was injured in an accident and when the rescue team reached Zanker, he was pronounced dead. There are no other details about the accident at this time.

The 28-year-old Swiss mountain guide was an accomplished alpinist, a strong paraglider and seasoned basejumper. “A real Stonemonkey,” Thomas Huber said about Zanker. “I can’t imagine you are gone.

“He loved to live every moment, he spread happiness and endless motivation to the friends around him. I had a chance to climb with Julian on Cerro Kishtwar and for that, I am so grateful to spend one my best mountain adventure with him. It will take a time to understand, that you won’t be here anymore, but your spirit will always part of our trails. Julian we will miss you so much! Be Free!”

In Oct. 2017, Huber, Zanker and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascent of Har Har Mahadev VII A3+ 6b M6 80° on the northwest face of Cerro Kishtwar for the fourth ascent of the peak.

“I was always fascinated by the mountains and did a lot of sport ever since my childhood,” said Zanker in a 2014 interview. “I always had the dream of being free and being able to fly like a bird – now it came true! Hopefully I can do a lot of mountain projects combining climbing with wing suit flying.

“This year I started a mountain guide course and became an aspirant of the first year. Passing my passion to other people and showing them the beauty of this special world is something I like most. It also shows me I’m doing the right thing.”

At least 65 climbers have died on the face since the 1930s when its notoriety of being a deadly wall was sealed with the deaths of eight men before the first successful ascent in 1938.

Zanker was born in the Swiss region of Engadine, started climbing at 13 and at 19, he completed his skydiving license and realized his dream, progressing to wing suit flying. Our condolences to Zanker’s friends and family.