Kacper Tekieli, a Swiss ski-runner, and mountaineer, died at 38 in the Swiss Alps on Wednesday, May 17, when an avalanche struck him. Tekieli was on his descending trail from a successful summit to Mt. Jungfrau (4,158 m) when an avalanche carried the mountaineer and buried him to death.
The dead body of the 38-year-old Swiss mountaineer was retrieved on the morning of 18th, May Thursday. Born in Gdańsk, Tekieli was fond of mountains; he led a project to climb all 82-4,000ers before turning 40.
Tekieli’s Wife and Son Were Also in the Swiss Alps During the Tragic Incident
The tragic death of Kacper Tekilei came early in the morning of May 18, although the incident occurred on the 17th. The search and rescue team could not locate him after the Swiss mountaineer’s disappearance in the snow when the avalanche hit. The hope and positive outcome of the incident were shattered when the worst possible that everyone was not hoping for was confirmed. The dead body of the 38-year-old mountaineer was recovered from the snow of Mt. Jungfrau on the morning of May 18.
According to the reports, Tekieli fell as he descended when the avalanche struck the northern part of the mountain. In his conquest of scaling all 4,000 ers before hitting 40, Tekieli’s family, wife, and one-and-half year son were present in the Swiss Alps to show their love and support.
Tekieli’s wife, 40 years old, Justyna Kowalczyk is also a mountaineer and ski runner; she shares the mountain expedition passion with her late husband. The mountaineering couple married in 2020 in Gdańsk and welcomed their first child, a son, Hugo, on September 2, 2021.
After Kacper and Justyna tied the knot, the couple had been inseparable; Justyna accompanied her husband on almost all of his expeditions. She had always supported the Swiss mountaineer’s passion and understood his unyielding love for the snowcapped peaks.
Kacper Tekieli Death Funeral Held at Oliwa Cemetery in Gdańsk
Kacper Tekieli’s funeral was held at Oliwa Cemetery in Gdańsk on May 30 2023. It was a secular funeral, and the later 38-year-old mountaineer’s wife made a special request for the funeral attendees. Justyna requested to help an animal instead of bringing flowers and wreaths to the funeral.
The 38-year-old mountaineer was an animal lover; he often used to help a homeless animal shelter, Promyk Shelter. The request of the late Swiss mountaineer’s wife came from the heart as she wanted to do something for Shelter that her late husband used to help without flaunting it.
The Shelter’s employees also flocked to Kacper Tekieli’s funeral as a gesture for his big heart and the kindness he had shown throughout his life. The employees left symbolic mascots of a cat and dog on his grave to show what Tekieli did for animals and as a last tribute to pay him respect.
38-year-old Tekieli was put to rest in an alley surrounded by trees at the cemetery and in part with tiny graves of children. It was near the resting place of a child from the Tekieli family who was buried there in the 1960s.
Fasolki’s song ‘Dziub Dziub’ resounded in the cemetery when the Swiss mountaineer was put to his resting place.
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Touching Final Words From Tekieli’s Widowed Wife at Funeral
The urn with the ashes of the late Swiss mountaineer Kacper Tekieli is engraved with touching words from his wife; it was also what she posted on her Facebook page after the tragic incident:
He was the most wonderful
Speaking at the funeral, the ski runner said she and Tekieli had never avoided the difficult conversation; married to a mountain climber, they didn’t avoid the question about the unforeseen circumstances on the slopes.
Justyna further stated that she was lucky to be able to support him and be at his side all this time. And that she got to say goodbye to him, as he would do the same for her. Justyna assured the family and well-wishers at the funeral that she and her son would live as Kacper taught, travel, and conquer the world.
Legacy of Kacper Tekieli
Born November 23, 1984, Kacper Tekieli was a ski runner and a mountaineer. The Piolet d’Or nominee was also a climbing instructor recognized by the Polish Mountaineering Association. His journey for scaling mountain peaks has taken him all around the globe; Tekieli successfully conquered mountain ranges like Broad Peak Middle, Mt. Makalu, Caucasus, and the Alps, including the mountain ranges of North America.
The 38-year-old mountaineer made a double traverse on Matterhorn crossing all four ridges of Matterhorn in a single push in August 2019. And climbed Eiger’s northeast face from the Lauper route in the same year. Drawn by the great snowy figurines, Tekieli’s objective before the tragic incident was to climb all 82 mountain peaks higher than 4,000 meters in the Alps, a record that belongs to the late Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck, who did it in 62 days in the summer of 2015.