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American mountaineer found mummified in Peru 22 years after vanishing


The body of an U.S. mountain climber who disappeared 22 years ago while climbing a 6,700-metre-high mountain in Peru was found mummified and with his clothes in good condition, police said on July 8, 2024. (Photo by Handout / Peruvian National Police / AFP)
The body of an U.S. mountain climber who disappeared 22 years ago while climbing a 6,700-metre-high mountain in Peru was found mummified and with his clothes in good condition, police said on July 8, 2024. (Photo by Handout / Peruvian National Police / AFP)

The preserved body of an American mountaineer — who disappeared 22 years ago while scaling a snowy peak in Peru — has been found after being exposed by climate change-induced ice melt, police said Monday.

William Stampfl was reported missing in June 2002, aged 59, when an avalanche buried his climbing party on the mountain Huascaran, which stands more than 6,700 meters (22,000 feet) high. Search and rescue efforts were fruitless.

Peruvian police said his remains were finally exposed by ice melt on the Cordillera Blanca range of the Andes.

Stampfl's body, as well as his clothes, harness and boots had been well-preserved by the cold, according to images distributed by the police.

His passport was found among his possessions in good condition, allowing police to identify the body.

The mountains of northeastern Peru, home to snowy peaks such as Huascaran and Cashan, are a favorite with mountaineers from around the world.

In May, the body of an Israeli hiker was found there nearly a month after he disappeared.

And last month, an experienced Italian mountaineer was found dead after he fell while trying to scale another Andean peak.

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