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American climber buried by an avalanche 22 years ago in Peru is found in the ice

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Twenty two years ago, an avalanche buried American climber Bill Stampfl as he made his way up one of the highest peaks in the Andes mountains.

His family knew there was little hope of finding him alive, or even of retrieving his corpse from the thick fields of snow and the freezing ice sheets that cover the 6,700-meter (22,000-foot) tall Huascaran peak.

But in June, Stampfl's son got a call from a stranger, who said he had come across the climber's frozen, and mostly intact body, as he made his own ascent up Huascaran.

“It was so out of left field. We talk about my dad, we think about him all the time,” Joseph Stampfl said. “You just never think you are going to get that call.”

He then shared the news with his family.

“It's been a shock” said Jennifer Stampfl, the climber's daughter. “When you get that phone call that he’s been found your heart just sinks. You don’t know how exactly to feel at first.”

On Tuesday, police in Peru said they had recovered Stampfl's body from the mountain where he was buried by the avalanche in 2002, when the 58-year-old was climbing with two friends who were also killed.

A group of policemen and mountain guides put Stampfl's body on a stretcher, covered it in an orange tarp, and slowly took it down the icy mountain. The body was found at an altitude of 5,200 meters (17,060 feet), about a nine-hour hike from one of the camps where climbers stop when they tackle Huascaran's steep summit.

Jennifer Stampfl said the family plans to move the body to a funeral home in Peru's capital, Lima, where it can be cremated and his ashes repatriated.

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by Anonymousreply 3July 10, 2024 7:57 AM

I love how the rescuers are just snapping photos.

No goddamned respect.

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by Anonymousreply 1July 10, 2024 7:55 AM

How did his body get so twisted?

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by Anonymousreply 2July 10, 2024 7:56 AM

I've been up there!

by Anonymousreply 3July 10, 2024 7:57 AM
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