Mummy of American missing 22 years ago found in snowy Peruvian mountains

Mummy of American missing 22 years ago found in snowy Peruvian mountains
Mummy of American missing 22 years ago found in snowy Peruvian mountains

10:33 AM

The body of an American mountaineer who disappeared 22 years ago while climbing a snowy peak over 6,700 metres high in Peru has been found mummified and with his clothing in good condition.

The American William Stampflof Slovenian origin, had been reported missing in June 2002 when an avalanche buried him on the 6,757-meter Huascarán mountain in the Áncash region, some 400 km north of Lima. “After an intense search, they located the mummified and dehydrated body on the Huascarán snow-capped mountain,” the highest in Peru, the police said on their social networks.

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The discovery was made possible by the deglaciation of the snow-capped mountains due to climate change, a phenomenon affecting the Cordillera Blanca in the Peruvian Andes, which left the body exposed to the open air. Stampfl was wearing his climbing clothes, harness and boots with crampons, all of which were preserved in good condition, according to the images released by the police.

Rescuers identified him after finding Stampfl’s American passport among his clothes. Stampfl was 59 years old at the time of the accident. The extremely cold conditions of the snowy mountain, which can reach 19° below zero at night, would have allowed the body to be preserved since 2002.

According to the police report, rescuers “located the body at an altitude of 5,200 meters, near field one of the snow-capped mountain,” an area characterized by crevasses and considered dangerous. The body was transferred to the morgue in the city of Yungay.

In June, the body of another Italian climber was also found after an accident while attempting an ascent of the 5,716-metre-high Cashan mountain.

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The Cordillera Blanca, as the mountain range in northeastern Peru is known, which is home to snow-capped mountains such as Huascarán and Cashan, is a tourist area frequented by climbers from all over the world.

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