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Renowned moutaineer Ueli Steck dies in accident near Everest while preparing for summit attempt

By Binaj Gurubacharya

Leading Swiss climber Ueli Steck has been killed in a mountaineering accident near Mount Everest in Nepal.

Expedition organiser Mingma Sherpa, of Seven Summit Treks, said Steck died at Camp One of Mount Nuptse.

His body has been recovered from the site and taken to Lukla, where the only airport in the area is located.

It was not clear how Steck died, but he was planning to climb 8,850 metre (29,035ft) Mount Everest and nearby Mount Lhotse next month.

He is the first casualty in the spring mountaineering season in Nepal that began in March and ends in May.

Hundreds of foreign climbers are on the mountains to attempt to scale Himalayan peaks in May, when there are a few windows of favourable weather.

Steck (40) was one of the most renowned mountaineers of his generation.

He was best known for his speed-climbing, including setting several records for ascending the north face of the Eiger, a classic mountaineering peak in the Bernese Alps that he climbed in two hours and 47 minutes without a rope.

In 2013 he achieved the first solo climb of the Annapurna south face in Nepal after almost losing his life in a fall there in 2007.

For that he received the Piolet d'Or, considered the Oscar of mountaineering.

Asked what he would consider to be success on his forthcoming Everest-Lhotse expedition, involving a quick climb from one peak to the other, Steck said: "Of course I want to climb Everest and Lhotse. But that's a very high goal.

"Failure for me would be to die and not come home."

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