Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Body of US Climber Buried by Avalanche 22 Years Ago in Peru is Found in Ice

This photo distributed by the Peruvian National Police shows the remains of who police identify as US mountain climber William Stampfl, on Huascaran mountain in Huaraz, Peru, July 5, 2024. (Peruvian National Police via AP)
This photo distributed by the Peruvian National Police shows the remains of who police identify as US mountain climber William Stampfl, on Huascaran mountain in Huaraz, Peru, July 5, 2024. (Peruvian National Police via AP)
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Body of US Climber Buried by Avalanche 22 Years Ago in Peru is Found in Ice

This photo distributed by the Peruvian National Police shows the remains of who police identify as US mountain climber William Stampfl, on Huascaran mountain in Huaraz, Peru, July 5, 2024. (Peruvian National Police via AP)
This photo distributed by the Peruvian National Police shows the remains of who police identify as US mountain climber William Stampfl, on Huascaran mountain in Huaraz, Peru, July 5, 2024. (Peruvian National Police via AP)

Twenty two years ago, an avalanche buried American climber Bill Stampfl as he made his way up one of the highest peaks in the Andes mountains.
His family knew there was little hope of finding him alive, or even of retrieving his corpse from the thick fields of snow and the freezing ice sheets that cover the 6,700-meter tall Huascaran peak, The Associated Press reported.
But in June, Stampfl's son got a call from a stranger, who said he had come across the climber's frozen, and mostly intact body, as he made his own ascent up Huascaran.
“It was so out of left field. We talk about my dad, we think about him all the time,” Joseph Stampfl said. “You just never think you are going to get that call.”
He then shared the news with his family.
“It's been a shock” said Jennifer Stampfl, the climber's daughter. “When you get that phone call that he’s been found your heart just sinks. You don’t know how exactly to feel at first.”
On Tuesday, police in Peru said they had recovered Stampfl's body from the mountain where he was buried by the avalanche in 2002, when the 58-year-old was climbing with two friends who were also killed.
A group of policemen and mountain guides put Stampfl's body on a stretcher, covered it in an orange tarp, and slowly took it down the icy mountain. The body was found at an altitude of 5,200 meters, about a nine-hour hike from one of the camps where climbers stop when they tackle Huascaran's steep summit, AP said.
Jennifer Stampfl said the family plans to move the body to a funeral home in Peru's capital, Lima, where it can be cremated and his ashes repatriated.
Police said Stampfl’s body and clothing were preserved by the ice and freezing temperatures. His driver's license was found inside a hip pouch. It says he was a resident of Chino in California’s San Bernardino County.
The effort to retrieve Stampfl's remains began last week, after an American climber came upon the frozen body while making his way to the Huascaran summit. The climber opened the pouch and read the name on the driver's license. He called Stampfl's relatives, who then got in touch with local mountain guides.
Joseph Stampfl said they worked with a Peruvian mountain rescue association to retrieve his father’s body, which was about 915 to 1,200 meters below where he and his two friends were believed to have been killed.
“He was no longer encased in ice,” the son said. “He still has got his boots on.”
A team of 13 mountaineers participated in the recovery operation — five officers from an elite police unit and eight mountain guides who work for Grupo Alpamayo, a local tour operator that takes climbers to Huascaran and other peaks in the Andes.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : 3 Hikers Die in Utah Parks as Temperatures Hit Triple Digits

(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)
(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)
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3 Hikers Die in Utah Parks as Temperatures Hit Triple Digits

(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)
(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)

Three hikers died over the weekend in suspected heat-related cases at state and national parks in Utah, including a father and daughter who got lost on a strenuous hike in Canyonlands National Park in triple-digit temperatures.
The daughter, 23, and her father, 52, sent a 911 text alerting dispatchers that they were lost and had run out of water while hiking the 8.1 miles (13 kilometers) Syncline Loop, described by the National Park Service as the most challenging trail in the Island in the Sky district of the southeast Utah park. The pair set out Friday to navigate steep switchbacks and scramble through boulder fields with limited trail markers as the air temperature surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
Park rangers and a helicopter crew with the Bureau of Land Management began their search for the lost hikers in the early evening Friday, but found them already dead. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office identified them on Monday as Albino Herrera Espinoza and his daughter, Beatriz Herrera, of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Due to the jagged terrain, safety officials used a helicopter to airlift the bodies out of the park and to the state medical examiner on Saturday morning, according to the sheriff's office. Their deaths are being investigated as heat-related by the local sheriff and the National Park Service, The Associated Press reported.
Later Saturday, first responders in southwest Utah responded to a call about two hikers “suffering from a heat related incident” at Snow Canyon State Park, which is known for its lava tubes, sand dunes and a canyon carved from red and white Navajo Sandstone.
A multi-agency search team found and treated two hikers who were suffering from heat exhaustion. While they were treating those individuals, a passing hiker informed them of an unconscious person nearby. First responders found the 30-year-old woman dead, public safety officials said.
Her death is being investigated by the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department. She has not been identified publicly.
Tourists continue to flock to parks in Utah and other southwestern states during the hottest months of the year, even as officials caution that hiking in extreme heat poses serious health risks.
A motorcyclist died earlier this month in Death Valley National Park in eastern California, and another motorcyclist was taken to a hospital for severe heat illness. Both were part of a group that rode through the Badwater Basin area amid scorching weather.
The air temperature in Death Valley reached at least 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius) for nine consecutive days July 4-12 — the park’s longest streak at or above that temperature since the early 1900s, the National Park Service announced Monday. Now, parts of the park are experiencing a multiday power outage triggered by a thunderstorm as temperatures continue to linger just above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius).
Late last month, a Texas man died while hiking in Grand Canyon National Park, where summer temperatures on exposed parts of the trails can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Elsewhere on Monday, authorities said a 61-year-old man was found dead inside his motor home in eastern Washington state. The man likely died Wednesday when the temperature in the area reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius), Franklin County Coroner Curtis McGary said.
Authorities also suspected heat in the death of an 81-year-old man Saturday in Oregon but have released no further details. His death brings the state's tally of suspected heat-related deaths to 17 since the July 4 weekend, The Oregonian/Oregonlive.com reported.