Iconic soloist and pioneering free climber Patrick Edlinger died, according to a report in Corriere dello Sport, as a result of falling down a flight of steep stairs in his house. The 52-year-old climber reportedly had mattresses placed at the base of the stair as a precaution, but fell and hit his head on the floor in between a gap in the pads.
Also according to reports, Edlinger struggled with alcohol, though he had resolved to beat the addiction, which he considered his greatest challenge. Whether drinking was involved in the accident is unknown.
According to a study by the Loughborough University of England, 1,000 people die each year falling down stairs in Britain alone, while more than 100,000 are injured.
Edlinger became internationally famous in the mid 1980s after a series of bold and dramatic free solos in France’s Verdon Gorge.