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Magnus Kastengren (left) and Andreas Fransson (right) on the summit of Denali, 2011
Photo by Andreas Fransson

Magnus Kastengren dies in fall from Mount Cook

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32-year-old Swedish extreme skier Magnus Kastengren has lost his life in a fall from Mount Cook in New Zealand.

What should have been a beautiful extreme skiing trip to New Zealand has ended in tragedy for Sweden's Magnus Kastengren who fell to his death two days ago close to the summit of Aoraki, the country's highest mountain more commonly known as Mount Cook.

Kastengren had travelled to the Southern Alps in New Zealand together with Andreas Fransson and a few days ago they had carried out what is likely to be the first continuous ski descent of Aoraki's East Face, together with local skiers Nick Begg and Tyrone Low.

According to information provided by the local police to The New Zealand Herald, at the time of the accident Kastengren was behind Fransson as they crossed a ridge below the lower summit at circa 3700m. Fransson immediately alerted the mountain rescue service at 8:30 am but unfortunately the 600m proved fatal for the 32-year-old Swede.

Kastengren was an expert alpinist and skier, having carried out numerous difficult descents worldwide, from Sweden to the peaks around Chamonix all the way to Tibet. In 2011 he travelled to Alaska together with Fransson and the two climbed the Cassin Ridge up Denali (McKinley) in a 33 hour round trip (including a 9 hour bivy). Kastengren's death has understandably shocked the small, close-knit community of climbers and alpinists.

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