Ted Atkins, a British mountaineer, entrepreneur and frequent contributor to Nepali Times on climbing safety in the Himalaya died on Tuesday while descending Civetta in the Dolomites.
Atkins was an aerosystems engineer and a member of the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Service and led the Mt Everest North Ridge Expedition in 2001. He summited Everest later from the Nepal side, and went on to climb Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse and Ama Dablam.
He also set a world record for the highest ever boat ride by paddling a raft on a glacial lake at 6,300m below Everest. Colleagues remember him as a man who pushed the limits to get the job done, and was always trying out new adventures like high altitude freefall diving.
After leaving the RAF, Atkins ran a thriving business selling bottled oxygen to Himalayan expeditions at a time where there had been several fatalities caused by faulty equipment. His cylinders had a new kind of delivery system that he invented himself.
“Everything Ted did was to the max, he had so many adventures and epics it is hard to believe he fell on the way from a via Feratta near his home in Italy,” wrote a friend in a blog tribute.