According to the New Zealand Herald, we lost a mountain brother, Magnus Kastengren, yesterday near the summit of Aoraki-Mt Cook (12,316 ft – highest mountain in New Zealand). Magnus, who was 32, and his ski mountaineering partner, Andreas Fransson were both skiing near the lower summit of Aoraki-Mt Cook. It sounded to me, that the two were skiing at the same time, with Andreas leading, then noticing when he looked back, Magnus was gone. Magnus took a fall/slip in some way, falling apx 600 meters (1,968′) to his death. The NZ Herald also mentioned that “Only four days earlier, the Swedes were thought to have become the first skiers to complete a continuous descent of Aoraki-Mt Cook’s east face.”
This tragic news hit me extra hard this morning, having spent time with Dean Cummings and his “Steep Life” tour that just came through the Puget Sound this past weekend. Anyway, the morning after Dean’s Friday presentation, I happened to catch the short video below that touched me in many ways. The following night, I had mentioned the video to Dean and told him I would shoot him the link, which is what I was doing this morning when I learned of this tragic event. Magnus Kastengren isn’t in his ski partner’s (Andreas Fransson) video below, but it will give you a visual of the life he was living with his mountain brothers. RIP Magnus.