An experienced Swiss climber died on Sunday after he fell in the Everest region of Nepal during preparations to climb the world’s highest mountain, the first to perish in the current climbing season, officials said.
Ueli Steck, 40, died after falling to the foot of Mount Nuptse, a smaller peak in the area, said Mingma Sherpa of the Seven Summits Treks company that organised Steck’s expedition.
Steck was in the area acclimatising ahead of a bid to climb Everest through the less-climbed West Ridge route and traverse to Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak – at 8,516 meters (27,940 feet) in May.
“His body has been retrieved and is being brought to Kathmandu,” Sherpa told Reuters. Other details were not immediately available.
Kamal Prasad Parajuli, an official with Nepal’s Department of Tourism, confirmed Steck died while climbing Nuptse and that he had planned to attempt an Everest ascent.
Hundreds of climbers are at Everest base camp as they prepare to climb the 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) Everest Summit in the current March-May climbing season.