As the Gurkha Everest Expedition team were approximately 45 minutes into their descent from Camp 2 on Everest yesterday morning, 30 April 2017, members of the team discovered the body of Ueli Steck in the Western Cwm.
"Our sincere condolences to Ueli Steck's family and friends, following yesterday's tragic events," said deputy expedition leader Major Andrew Todd, this morning. "Our team, who conducted his recovery and heli-extraction from the Western Cwm, are now back at Base Camp.
"Ueli remains a huge inspiration to our team. As we push on, we will never forget yesterday or Ueli's phenomenal climbing legacy."
Expedition chairman Brigadier Ian Rigden said: "The Gurkha Everest team is very sad to report the death of the legendary Swiss climber Ueli Steck on Mt Everest. His body was discovered by our team and they organised the repatriation off the mountain. Our thoughts are very much with his wife, Nicole, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to her and their families."
The team has completed the first acclimatisation rotation on the mountain, successfully reaching a high point of Camp 3 at 7,200m on the Lhotse Face. The team has acclimatised well so far and will descend further down the Khumbu Valley tomorrow for a few days' rest and recovery at lower altitude in preparation for their return to Base Camp, at the weekend, ahead of the summit attempt.