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    May 03, 2016

    2 climbers' bodies found 16 years after avalanche


    THE body of renowned mountain climber Alex Lowe has been found in a glacier, together with that of good friend and cinematographer David Bridges, some 16 years after the duo were buried in a Himalayan avalanche.

    Two alpinists from Switzerland and Germany on Wednesday came across the men's remains "still encased in blue ice but beginning to emerge from the glacier", a foundation set up in Lowe's memory said in a statement.

    Lowe, 40, and Bridges, 29, both American, were swept away by a massive avalanche in October 1999 when they were leading a nine-man team up the 8,027m Shisha Pangma peak in China's Tibetan region in hopes of achieving the first American ski descent off its summit, recalled the United States' Rock and Ice magazine.

    Conrad Anker, now 53, one of the seven survivors who went on to marry Lowe's widow and adopt their three sons, said the discovery had brought "closure and relief" to the family, reported the US' Outside magazine.

    "Alex's parents are thankful to know that their son's body has been found and that Conrad, the boys and I will make our pilgrimage to Shisha Pangma (to retrieve the bodies)," said Lowe's widow Jennifer on Friday.

    The couple heard the news when they were in Nepal overseeing the construction of a new building for the Khumbu Climbing Centre which trains local mountain workers.

    The centre was established in 2003 in memory of Mr Lowe, who had climbed Mount Everest twice and had strong ties with Nepal.

    He ranked among the world's top mountaineers before his death, and was nicknamed the Lung With Legs.

    By 2014, 27 people have died climbing Shisha Pangma, according to reports.

    Chinese media wondered yesterday how the bodies would be shipped out from Tibet's Shigatse region, where the peak stands, overlooking Nepal some 5km away, as there has been no mention of the news in Tibetan media.