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Monday, 1 May 2017

Famed Swiss Mountain Climber Falls to His Death | RIP Ueli Steck (1976-2017) The Swiss Machine

They didn't call him the 'Swiss Machine' for nothing...
Famed rock climber and mountaineer, Ueli Steck, won two Piolet d'Or awards, in 2009 and 2014. He was also famous for his speed records on the North Face trilogy in the Alps.



Steck died on April 30, 2017, while acclimatizing for an attempt of the Hornbein route on the West Ridge of Everest without supplemental oxygen. This route had been climbed only few times the last of which was in 1991. His plan was to then proceed with a traverse to the peak of Lhotse, the world's fourth highest mountain. This combination had not been achieved. During a preparatory climb on Nuptse, a smaller peak near Everest, Steck fell about 1000m.

His death was the first casualty of the Everest climbing season.

“Failure for me would be to die and not come home.” - Ueli Steck

Remembering Ueli Steck...



It was reported that back in April 2013, Steck and two other mountaineers, Simone Moro and Jonathan Griffith, were involved in an altercation with local Sherpas while on the west face of Mount Everest - so much so that it became an international media event. This led me to ask, 'Who are these Sherpas anyways?' Well, they are an ethnic group from the most mountainous region of Nepal, the Himalayas and they climb for a living...


WHY SHERPAS CLIMB
Although the climbing industry has taken a heavy toll on Sherpa families, it has also brought income and opportunity. Sherpas talk about why they risk such danger—such as the avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 16 expedition workers on April 18, 2014—to help climbers summit difficult peaks.





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