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Everest claims experienced mountaineer

A Swiss climber has died on Mount Everest after reaching the summit of the world's highest peak without bottled oxygen.

This content was published on May 23, 2008 - 14:34

Gianni Goltz died of apparent heart failure as he was heading down the mountain on Wednesday, according to Enrico Bryner of the Swiss Alpine Club.

The 44-year-old, a member of a Swiss-German expedition, was an experienced climber from canton Ticino. He had already reached the summits of six other 8,000-metre peaks without additional oxygen.

On Friday, his partner, sister and mother paid tribute to him in Ticino newspapers. "Gianni Goltz now rests in the eternal snow of the Himalayas," they wrote.

At least 210 climbers have died trying to scale the 8,848-metre Everest since it was first conquered in 1953.

Spaniard Iñaki Ochoa de Olza, another experienced mountaineer, died on Friday after failing to scale Annapurna, an 8,000-metre peak in the Himalayas.

Swiss climbers Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten, who were waiting to tackle the summit together, left base camp to help Ochoa, who was stranded at over 7,000 metres.

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