Sunday, July 21, 2024

Mummified body of missing US climber found 22 years later in Peru

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The mummified remains of an American man have been found 22 years after he went missing while climbing a mountain in Peru.

William Stampfl, 59, was reported missing in June 2002 after an avalanche buried his climbing party while scaling Mount Huascarán, Peru’s highest peak.

Peruvian police said ice melt had exposed Stampfl’s mummified and clothed body.

He was identified by the passport found among his belongings.

Police said Stampfl’s body was well-preserved by the Peruvian ice, with his clothes in good condition, the AFP reported. He was still wearing his boots and harness.

Mount Huascarán, which is situated about 270 miles (435km) north of the capital Lima, stands at more than 22,000ft (6,706m).

With its snowy peaks and stunning climbs, the Cordillera Blanca mountain range in north-eastern Peru is a magnet for mountaineers worldwide.

Stampfl embarked with two others – Steve Erskine and Matthew Richardson – on a 19-day round trip from California to Peru’s tallest summit.

But an avalanche upended their climb on 24 June 2002. Only Erskine’s body had previously been found.

Stampfl is at least the third person this year found dead in the region.

The body of an Italian climber who fell while scaling another peak was recovered last month, while an Israeli man was found dead in May nearly a month after his disappearance.

Last month, five bodies were found frozen in ice on the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest.

Glaciers are melting and receding around the world, which most scientists attribute to accelerating climate change.

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