Nepal | August 09, 2020

Famed ‘Swiss Machine’ climber Ueli Steck cremated in Mt Everest region

Rajan Pokhrel
Share Now:

FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2015 file photo Swiss climber Ueli Steck poses for a photo at the foot of a climbing wall in Wilderswil, Canton of Berne, Switzerland. Photo: AP

KATHMANDU: The family and friends on Thursday said a goodbye to the world’s greatest alpinist Ueli Steck who died in an accident near Nuptse Face on Mt Everest last week. The ‘Swiss Machine’ climber was cremated in a private funeral service which was presided over by monks of Tengboche monastery in Solukhumbu.

Fishtail Air Captain Maurizio Folini airlifted the remains of Steck’s body to Tengboche monastery, a sacred place of Buddhist pilgrims, which has been chosen to cremate the body of the famed mountaineer. Wife Nicole Steck, 39, along with parents and a few friends flew to Tengboche from Kathmandu this morning for the funeral service.

Two of Steck’s friends stayed there for two days while returning from the Everest base camp to attend the legend’s cremation.

The monastery is situated at an altitude of 3,860m inside the Sagarmatha National Park, the UNESCO heritage site, in Khumbu region, the legendary climber loved much the region as his home away from home, according to Steck’s climbing partner Tenji Sherpa, who was also present during a very private ritual lasted for a couple of hours.

With an overpowering show of love and pride, we felt the mountain range seen kissing, touching him and running along side the coffin, Sherpa described the scene. The legendary Swiss alpinist died on April 30 after he fell some 1,000 m on Mt Nuptse where he headed for a training to prepare himself for a record climb on Mt Everest.

At least nine Buddhist monks led by the head of the monastery with flowing maroon ropes delivered a sermon and offered prayers for nearly three hour before Steck’s remains were cremated , he added. “Except lamas, there were only 14 persons including 10 from abroad who were present in the funeral ceremony,” he said, adding that none of the other outsiders including locals were allowed to visit the scene.

According to Dendi Sherpa, Managing Director, Royal Orchid Treks and Expedition, which organised the expedition, Steck’s family and friends returned to Kathmandu from Tengboche late in the afternoon. “But, we will return tomorrow,” he told THT over phone from Tengboche.

Climbing logistics, the Steck’s expedition left at Mt Everest base camp, were also airlifted top Kathmandu while family will be departing to Switzerland after a week, according to Sherpa. The cremated remains (ashes) will also be sent to Switzerland to pay a final tribute to the legend in his home country.

Issuing a statement in Zurich, spokesperson for Steck family Andreas Bantel shared that Nicole expressed her heartfelt thanks to the monks and monastery family for their dignified way of saying goodbye to Ueli Steck.

“The family also intends to hold a funeral service in Switzerland for friends, acquaintances and professional colleagues of Steck as well as for the general public,” the statement read, “The family felt funeral ceremony as solemn and impressive, sad and at the same time liberating in Tengboche.”

Steck, 41 along Tenji, 27, set out a plan to attempt to climb Mt Everest by never repeated West Ridge/Hornbein Couloir route without using supplemental oxygen in the spring climbing season and also to make a descend to the South Col before taking the once climbed direct route just below the Lhotse Face to obtain that summit record.

READ ALSO:

 

 


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Transitional Justice, court, justice, punishment, law

Judiciary: Public should maintain restraint on comments about court order/verdicts

We should not forget that it is the court that upholds justice, protect people's rights. Had the judiciary not been there, whatever the two powerful organs of the state — executive and legislature — wanted to happen, could happen. It is the judiciary that checks the excesses of the executive and Read More...

Coronavirus , vaccines, vaccines trails

Are we thinking about COVID-19 vaccines yet?

It is now clear that for Nepal, like every other country, vaccines are going to have a crucial role in getting rid of the COVID-19 pandemic. What are we doing to source a vaccine when it becomes available?  Many countries understand that every month’s delay in deploying vaccines for COVID-19 w Read More...

Parsa's Narayani Hospital records 55 new infections today

BIRGUNJ: As many as 55 persons, including the mayor of Bahudarmai Municipality, Parsa, have contracted Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. The newly infected persons are within the age group of 20 to 74 years. Eight among the 55 infected are females. Laboratory at Narayani Hospital confirmed the ne Read More...

PM calls for study on Ayodhyapuri

CHITWAN: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has called for study and research on Ayodhyapuri. On a telephone conversation with the chairperson of Madi Municipality-9, where Ayodhyapuri is located, he assigned the work to be carried out in coordination with the Department of Archaeology, on Friday. W Read More...

Nagasaki marks 75th A-bomb anniversary on Sunday

TOKYO: The city of Nagasaki in southern Japan marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing on Sunday. It was the second nuclear bomb dropped by the U.S. three days after the attack on Hiroshima. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II and nearly a half-century aggression agains Read More...

Flight data, cockpit voice recorders recovered from India plane crash site

NEW DELHI: The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been recovered from the site of an Indian passenger aircraft crash in a southern state, a top official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation told Reuters on Saturday. Both "black boxes" have been found, the official said. Read More...

Lorenzo Soria, president of Golden Globes group, dies at 68

LOS ANGELES: Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and former editor of the Italian news weekly L’Espresso, died Friday, the association said. He was 68. Soria died peacefully at his Los Angeles home, the association said in a statement, lauding his “generosity, Read More...

Gahanapokhari-Hadigaun area sealed amid surge in Covid-19 numbers

KATHMANDU: To check the spread of coronavirus, Gahanapokhari-Hadigaun area in the capital city has been partially sealed after tenants and landlords from the same building tested positive for the infection. Kathmandu Metropolitan City-5 ward chair Ramesh Dangol said that the area has now been sea Read More...