Local climbers remember Ueli Steck

KUSA - A famous Swiss climber, known for his rapid ascents, died over the weekend while climbing near Mount Everest.

Ueli Steck was killed Sunday in a mountaineering accident in Nepal.

Two Fort Collins climbers are remembering Steck, his accomplishments, and the impact he had on the mountaineering community. 

"Ueli helped to define what could be done, and for many of us we knew we would never repeat, or attempt, close to what he accomplished, but he helped us understand what it took to accomplish these amazing goals in mountaineering," said Alan Arnette. "It was inspirational, it was educational, it was motivational, and it was entertaining - and it's a huge loss to our climbing community." 

Jim Davidson is currently climbing Mount Everest and he saw Steck - a week before his death.

Davidson posted a photo to his Facebook page on Sunday of Steck making his way up a slope toward the west ridge of Everest.

He was on his way toward the West Ridge of Everest, according to Davidson. Steck is circled in red.

Davidson wrote: 

"With heavy sadness, we say good bye to one of the greatest climbers of our time, Ueli Steck. Ueli died today while solo climbing on Nuptse, just above Camp 1 on Everest. Like many, I looked up to Ueli as an incredible climber. I saw/met him briefly a few times, and he was a cordial and kind man. Last week we watched him solo at 22,000 feet up above Camp 2 on his way toward the difficult West Ridge of Everest. With only my GoPro handy, I took this wide photo of him climbing up. Ueli is circled in red. We watched him ascend for an hour until the clouds closed in. My condolences to his family, friends and many fans. I will always remember seeing Ueli climb up, up, up and into the clouds."

Steck died at Camp 1 of Mount Nuptse, Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks said to the Associated Press. Steck's body was taken to Lukla, where the only airport in the Mount Everest area is located.

Steck was an experienced climber.
He had won several awards for his accomplishments in mountaineering.
He was preparing to climb Mount Everest later this month when he died.

A statement was posted to his website reading:

Ueli Steck was killed while trying to climb Mount Everest and the Lhotse. His family has learned of his death today. The exact circumstances are currently unknown. The family is infinitely sad and asks the media builders to refrain from speculation about the circumstances of his death due to respect for Ueli.

As soon as there are reliable findings on the causes of Uelis Steck's death, the media will be informed. The family asks the media for understanding that they will not provide any further information at the time.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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