Swiss climber Ueli Steck dies in mountaineering accident near Mount Everest

Credit: Ueli Steck/ Facebook

World record setting climber Ueli Steck - known for his speed at scaling mountainous terrain - has died in an accident near Mount Everest.

The death of the Swiss athlete was confirmed by expedition organisers at Seven Summit Treks who said his body had been recovered from Camp 1 of Mount Nuptse on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear how 40-year-old Mr Steck died but it was known that he had been planning to climb the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) Mount Everest and nearby Mount Lhotse next month.

Mr Steck is the first casualty of Nepal's spring mountaineering season which this year runs from March until May.

Mr Steck died in a mountaineering accident near Mount Everest Credit: AP Photo/Kevin Frayer

Mr Steck has been hailed as one of the most renowned mountaineers of his generation and famously set several records for his rope less ascents of the north face of the Eiger, a classic mountaineering peak in the Bernese Alps.

In 2013 he achieved the first solo climb of the Annapurna south face in Nepal for which he receive the "Piolet d'Or" - considered the Oscar of mountaineering - and in 2015 he climbed all 82 peaks in the Alps in just 62 days while traveling between mountains by foot, bike and paraglider only.