Ueli Steck. Photo: Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP
Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck, who fell to his death on Sunday during preparations for summiting Everest, will be buried in Nepal, his spokesman has said.
Steck’s family will travel to the country in the coming days for a traditional Buddhist ceremony, Andreas Bantel told Swiss media, with a memorial to be held in Switzerland at a later date.
Steck, considered one of the greatest climbers of his generation, was on Everest to acclimatize for a summit attempt using a route never used before.
A Nepal government official said he apparently slipped and fell in an accident witnessed by other climbers who alerted rescuers.
He was the first person to die on Everest this year.
Steck had documented his latest Everest project on Facebook with pictures and a YouTube video in which he expressed his love for Mount Everest and said he was in better shape than ever.
He didn’t like to define success, he said in the video, adding that the only way the trip would not be considered a success would be “if you have an accident or if you’re going to die”.
Fellow climber Ferran Latorre, who was also at Everest at the time, expressed his shock. "We still have no words to explain what we feel. And I guess we will never," he said on Twitter.
Tributes poured in from Steck’s fans worldwide and others in the mountaineering community, including high altitude climber Kenton Cool, who said Steck was “a true inspiration to all”.
Veteran British climber Sir Chris Bonnington told the BBC Steck was a “gold medallist” of climbing, while US mountaineer Alan Arnette paid tribute to his "generous spirit".