Just days after breaking a new record on the peak of Aoraki-Mt. Cook, a 32-year old Swedish extreme-altitude skier fell 600m to his death. According to authorities, the man named to be Magnus Kastengren, was skiing near the mountain’s lower summit of approximately 3700m, slipped off a ridge on Sunday. It wasn’t until Kastengren’s partner and renowned Swedish ski-mountaineer Andreas Fransson, realized that Kastengren was gone when he looked behind him.
Few skiers dare to conquer the snowy peak of Mt. Cook of New Zealand. | Photo: Wiki Commons/Sami Kein
Both Swedes have overcome a number of ski-mountaineering firsts. It was only four days earlier that the Swedish pair were thought to have become the first skiers to complete a continuous descent of Aoraki-Mt Cook’s east face.
“Those boys were at the top of their game, I’d say,” stated DoC Aoraki-Mt Cook alpine rescue team leader Jim Spencer, who has been an alpine ski guide for 15 years. Spencer further commented on their recent feat at Mt. Cook’s east face, as being “very, very credible alpine skiing”.
Despite the good weather, mountain locals reiterated the deadly risk and hazards for any person that attempted to conquer Mt. Cook and that there was no room for error.
Spencer explained the severity of the monstrous mountain peak, “If you were to slip, you would very quickly pick up a speed that you couldn’t control.”
The reason of why or how Kastengren fell is unknown.
After receiving an emergency call around 8:30am on Sunday, the Department of Conservation alpine rescue team was dispatched. A rescuer, dangling on a strop from a Helicopter Line helicopter, picked him up shortly before midday. Mr Kastengren’s body was recovered about half an hour later.
A Department of Conservation alpine rescue team was dispatched after the survivor called emergency services about 8.30am yesterday. Fransson was picked up by a rescuer, dangling from a helicopter, by midday. Mr. Kastengren’s body was recovered about half an hour later.
Our deep condolences goes out to family and friends of Magnus Kastengren for the loss of an amazing skiier.