Ueli Steck Cremated in Nepal Monastery

The famous Swiss alpinist's family made the journey to Nepal to handle his remains

Ueli Steck on the summit of Les Drus in 2012. (Jonathan Griffith/Aurora Photos)
Alpine

Alpinist and speed climber Ueli Steck, who fell to his death while climbing near Everest on Sunday, April 30, was cremated Thursday morning by his family in a three-hour ceremony at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery near the world’s highest peak. Steck’s wife, Nicole Steck, and both of their parents were joined by several climbers who trekked down from Everest Base Camp for the traditional Nepali ceremony, according to a Swiss news report.

Shortly after his body was recovered via helicopter, it was flown to a hospital in Kathmandu. On Thursday morning, Steck’s relatives accompanied his body in a helicopter to the Tengboche Monastery, where it was cremated. The family plans to bring some of Steck’s ashes back to Switzerland, his native country, and hold a public farewell there. A date and time is yet to be announced.

Steck, known affectionately in the mountaineering community as the Swiss Machine, was famous for setting speed records and making first ascents on some of the world’s highest mountains. He made the first ascent of Teng Kang Poche in 2008 and the first solo ascent of Annapurna’s south face in 2014.

This spring, Steck was attempting to summit Everest via the West Ridge before traversing the South Col to Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest mountain. If successful, he would have been the first to climb this route. Steck was climbing near the summit of Nuptse on April 30 when he fell more than 3,000 feet to his death. The cause of his fall is still unknown, according to a spokesman for the family.

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