Mountaineer’s body found by fellow US climbers 22 years after going missing in Peru

Mountaineer’s body found by fellow US climbers 22 years after going missing in Peru

The body of an American mountaineer has been discovered by a pair of fellow US climbers 22 years after he went missing following an avalanche in the Peruvian Andes.

American brothers Ryan Cooper and Wesley Waren found the body of Bill Stampfl on June 27 on Mount Huascaran, according to Joseph Stampfl, Bill’s son.The climbers had been descending the mountain in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca after an unsuccessful attempt to reach its 22,000 ft summit when they found the body, at about 16,500 ft.

Cooper told CNN Tuesday they noticed an object that didn’t quite blend into the landscape and decided to investigate.He said the ice had preserved the body and its belongings and Stampfl’s wedding ring, helmet, mountain climbing boots, and jacket were all intact.The brothers managed to identify Stampfl by finding a bag attached to his body, inside which they found his identification card, a camera, passport, wallet, and glasses – all of which were also intact, Cooper explained.

“Someone loved him and someone wanted him to come home,” Cooper said. “As soon as I found out he was an American climber I knew we had a responsibility to track down the family and give them the news,” Cooper said.Stampfl and two of his fellow climbers and friends, Steve Erskine and Matthew Richardson, were all killed by an avalanche on Mount Huascaran on June 24, 2002, his daughter Jennifer Stampfl told CNN on Tuesday. Their bodies were never discovered, except for Erskine’s, she said. Stampfl was 58-years-old at the time.His body was retrieved and brought down the mountain on July 5 by the Peruvian Mountain Rescue Association and Peruvian National Police after coordination with Cooper and Stampfl’s family.His body was taken to a morgue in the town of Yungay for an autopsy, Peru’s National Police posted on X on Tuesday.


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