LIMA: 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 Huas­caran mountain, which stands more than 6,700 metres 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 police.

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

The mountains of north-eastern Peru, home to snowy peaks such as Huascaran and Cashan, are a favourite 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.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2024

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