Famed Swiss Climber Ueli Steck Killed in Accident Near Mount Everest
KATHMANDU, Nepal - A Swiss climber acclaimed for his rapid ascents - including scaling dozens of peaks in the Alps in a little more than two months - died Sunday in a mountaineering accident near Mount Everest in Nepal, expedition organizers and officials said.
Ueli Steck died at Camp 1 of Mount Nuptse, Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks said. Steck's body was taken to Lukla, where the only airport in the Mount Everest area is located.
Steck's family said the exact circumstances of his death were still unclear.
"The family is infinitely sad and asks that the media refrain from speculating about his death out of respect and consideration for Ueli," his family said on Steck's website.
Nepalese mountaineering officials said Monday that Steck's death was accidental and would not require any special investigation.
"It was an unfortunate mountaineering accident and we are not planning any specific investigation," Durga Dutta Dhakal of the Tourism Department said, adding that a police report was being prepared and an autopsy would be done.
Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said Steck was climbing alone when he died because his accompanying Sherpa had frostbite.
Steck was planning to climb 8,850-metre Mount Everest and nearby Mount Lhotse next month.
He was the first casualty in the spring mountaineering season in Nepal that began in March and will end in May. Hundreds of foreign climbers are in the Himalayan region to attempt to climb peaks in May when weather is most favourable.
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