Renowned Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck has died near Mount Everest in Nepal, tourism officials confirmed. The 40-year-old, known for his daring and athletic climbs, apparently slipped from a slope.
Dubbed the "Swiss Machine" for his daring speed climbs in the Himalayas, Ueli Steck was on Mount Everest to acclimatize before attempting to summit the world's tallest peak next month. He wanted to take a rarely used route.
Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks confirmed Sunday Steck was killed at Camp 1 of Mount Nuptse. His body was later recovered and taken to Lukla, where the only airport in the Everest area is located.
"Today morning (sic), he [Steck] had an accident on the Nuptse wall and died. It seems he slipped," Ang Tsering Sherpa, head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told the Agence France-Presse news agency.
Steck was the first casualty in this year's spring mountaineering season in Nepal, which began in March and will end in May.
"He [Steck] skidded off about 1,000 meters from [Everest] camp two early morning on Sunday. Other climbers ascending Everest saw him and asked for his rescue (sic)," said Dinesh Bhattarai, director general at Nepal's Department of Tourism.
"His expedition organizer is working to bring the body from Lukla to Kathmandu [Nepal's capital]," he added.
shs/jlw (AP, AFP, dpa)