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Published: Thu, May 04, 2017
World | By Lorena Waters

Famed Swiss climber Ueli Steck killed near Mount Everest

Famed Swiss climber Ueli Steck killed near Mount Everest

However, he chose to try again last month and he set out to climb a route that had only been successfully completed once, the Washington Post noted.

Swiss climber Ueli Steck, who fell to his death near Mount Everest, was the David Beckham of the mountaineering world and will "go down as one of the greatest ever", according to one of Britain's most honoured mountaineers.

"I've reached a point in my climbing where I realized if I keep moving in that direction, I'll kill myself", Steck said. Steck fell from a slope into a crevasse at 6,600 meters on Mount Neptse.

Before his climb, he had been featured in a video about his Everest-Lhotse project where he claimed he was ready and psyched for the climb. Steck's trekking partner, Tenji Sherpa, was nursing a frostbite in his hand at the base camp during that time.

Steck, 40, was heading toward camp 2 from camp 1 of Mt. Qomolangma, also known as Mt. Everest.

The brawl shocked the mountaineering community, causing a damaging rift between Western climbers and the often lowly paid Nepali guides, who are essential for commercial expeditions to the crowded summit.

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Steck's death is the first fatality of the 2017 Everest season, a period that lasts from March to May. He won the prestigious Piolet D'or award, mountaineering's highest honor, twice in 2009 and 2014.

Steck had been planning to climb 8,848-metre (29,029-ft) Mount Everest and nearby Mount Lhotse next month.

Steck was best known for his speed-climbing technique, a feat of endurance that emphasized the thrill of the athletic challenge over the adventure. Sadly, Ueli's solo climb broke a promise he made to his wife, Nicole, that he wouldn't climb alone.

Four years ago, he successfully completed the first solo climb of the Annapurna south face, where he almost died in a fall in 2007.

Steck, whose Everest-Lhotse climb would involve spending a night in the "death zone" where air is very thin, had said before his trip: 'I think it is possible but that's the exciting thing, nobody has done that before, ' he said. "But that's a very high goal". Two years ago, he climbed all of the Alps peaks higher than 13,100 feet in 62 days, hiking, biking and paragliding between peaks.

To many, Steck will always be remembered as the Swiss Machine-a powerful, rare animal stretching its formidable legs and lungs across an impossible mountain sweep. "The only definition [of failure] is to have an accident or die".

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