HIMALAYAS (EON) – The Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck, who is known to have climbed the most dizzying summits on the planet, died Sunday morning on Everest at 40 years old, the Federation of Mountaineering of Nepal announced.(NMA).
“This morning he had an accident on the Nuptse and died. It seems that it slipped, “said NMA president Ang Tsering Sherpa, quoting one of the satellite summits of Everest.
Known as the “Swiss machine” due to the high pace of racing, Ueli Steck was also known for a series of sometimes controversial records, and for being in 2013 the center of a violent dispute With sherpas on the Everest.
He was in the Himalayas in full acclimatization before attempting to climb in May the “Roof of the world” by a road never taken, reports CBC.
“Quick day from Basecamp up to 7000m and back,” read an update on his Facebook page Wednesday. Steck was a believer in “active acclamatisation [sic]” being the best way to get accustomed to changes in altitude. “My body is as strong as it was never before,” he said in a video about the project, adding he was excited for the trip.
“His body was brought back to Lukla by helicopter and will be brought back to Kathmandu,” said Ang Tsering Sherpa. Lukla is a village near the base camp of Everest. “His partner was suffering from chilblains and he had chased alone,” he said. “We’re trying to find out more.”
The incident occurred “Sunday morning, early, 1000 meters from Camp II” Nuptse, said Dinesh Bhattarai, general manager of the Nepalese Department of Tourism.
“Other mountaineers jumping on Everest have seen it and have called for help,” he said.
Ueli Steck had several times grazed death as when climbing in 28 hours of the southern face of Annapurna in 2013.
The homage multiplied at the announcement of his death. British climber Kenton Cool, who climbed the Everest 12 times, said on Twitter that Ueli Steck was “a man who showed us that everything is possible in the mountains and beyond.”
A trained carpenter, Ueli Steck was born on 4 October 1976 in Langnau im Emmental, east of Bern, in a very sporting family. At 12, he joined the Swiss Alpine Club and developed a fascination for “contact with nature and cliffs”.
Just over the top, Switzerland set the benchmark for its future records by climbing the northern face of the Eiger (3970 meters).
Explained the Swiss prodigy in 2015 in an interview with AFP:
“From then on, I began to systematically practice mountaineering in my spare time. On the other hand, I never thought of becoming a professional one day. I’m not trying to talk about my records. It’s my personal pleasure alone that dictates my approach.”
Very quickly, its performances do not go unnoticed. With the arrival of the first sponsors, Ueli Steck, then thirty years, decides to live full-time discipline. He then trains constantly, with the help of a physiotherapist, favoring endurance on technique.
Ueli Steck stood at a distance from the media during his climbs to be able to make the “most accurate decision on a wall”. He asserted that the thirst for money and glory had never counted, saying he was satisfied when his income exceeded his former carpenter’s salary.
To his detractors pointing to the lack of GPS or photographic evidence to authenticate some of his exploits, he regularly replied: “There is a lot of jealousy and I have to accept it.”
“I do all this for myself first and foremost,” he told AFP.
In 2013 Ueli Steck found himself at the center of a controversy when he and two other western mountaineers came to the hands with sherpas on Everest about the technique to adopt for the ascent.