Kacper Tekieli, the husband of renowned Polish cross-country skier Justyna Kowalczyk, has tragically passed away in the mountains of Switzerland. The well-known Polish mountaineer was 38 years old. Kacper Tekieli lost his life during a climbing expedition in the Alps. He embarked on a highly ambitious solo journey, aiming to match the record of famous Swiss climber Ueli Steck, who had conquered all 82 Alpine peaks above 4,000 meters.
The incident occurred yesterday, and Swiss mountain rescue services were immediately alerted. However, adverse weather conditions prevented them from reaching the location. Today, at around 7:00 a.m., a helicopter managed to descend into the valley, and it was then that his body was discovered. Kacper Tekieli was an alpinist and climbing instructor.
Born on November 23, 1984, in Gdansk, Kacper Tekieli held the title of sports climbing instructor conferred by the Polish Mountaineering Association. He had completed around 300 climbing routes in the Tatra Mountains. In 2010, during the VI International Elbrus Race, he ascended Mount Elbrus in just under five hours. Since 2010, he had been participating in the Polish Winter Himalayan Program 2010-2015, taking part in expeditions to Makalu and Broad Peak Middle.
On July 5, 2019, together with Łukasz Mirowski, he set a record time of 15 hours and 52 minutes for the Expandera route, the most famous chain of climbing routes in the Tatras, connecting routes of difficulty VI-VII- on the walls of Mały Młynarz, Kotło Kazalnicy Mięguszowieckiej, Mnich, and Kościelec.
On August 4, 2019, he became the fourth or fifth person in history to complete a double traverse of the Matterhorn, conquering all four ridges and reaching the summit twice in a single mountaineering effort. On November 13, he soloed the northeast face of the Eiger via the Lauper route without using a rope.
From August 13 to 14, 2020, he completed all the peaks of the Great Crown of the Tatras in a time of 37 hours and 28 minutes, breaking the previous record by over 11 hours.
From March 2 to 4, 2021, alongside Maciej Ciesielski and Piotr Sułowski, he accomplished the first winter crossing of the Expandera route, enduring 43 hours and 50 minutes of continuous mountaineering action in deep snow. This project was previously considered unrealistic, and no one had attempted it before them.
Privately, Kacper Tekieli was married to acclaimed Polish cross-country skier Justyna Kowalczyk. They tied the knot on September 24, 2020, in Gdansk. On September 2, 2021, their son Hugo Tekieli was born in Krakow.
Justyna Kowalczyk is a two-time Olympic champion (2010 Vancouver – 30 km classic technique, 2014 Sochi – 10 km classic technique), a two-time world champion, a five-time Olympic medalist, an eight-time world championship medalist, a four-time winner of the World Cup, and a four-time champion of the prestigious Tour de Ski.
In recent days, Kacper Tekieli had been in the Swiss Alps. He documented the progress of his expedition on his Facebook page. His last post was made two days ago.