Sad news

Before I get down to telling you about how Augsburg went, I wanted to dedicate a post to remembering Ueli Steck.

Ueli was one of the most well-known Alpinists, with countless records under his belt, he was focused, dedicated and highly talented. He died yesterday in an accident during an attempt to climb Mount Everest and to traverse across to Lhotse without supplemental oxygen within 48 hours.

Ueli’s death serves as a humbling reminder how fragile life can be, how odds can turn on you suddenly and unexpectedly when you are pushing the limits.

He was courting death, you say? That had to happen sooner or later.

I am not sure I agree. Of course, anybody taking an activity to such an extreme is by the very nature of their activity operating with narrow safety margins, Steck would have been the first to admit this, all it takes is a slight error of judgement or an unforeseen incident for things to come apart. Yet, at the same time Ueli was a meticulous planer, leaving little to chance.

Whether you are a novice or a less-experienced operator overestimating your abilities or a highly-skilled, very experienced person who simply gets caught out or goes that one step too far, the reminder I take away from this is that nobody is safe from things going wrong, from making a wrong call or underestimating odds.

Climb safe – and look out for each other.