Melting Ice Yields Up Mummified Body Of Climber Found In Peruvian Andes After 22 Years.

Photo by Aline Rodrigues on Unsplash A mountain lake in Northern Peru, with snow capped peaks.
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The mummified remains of an American mountaineer have been found 22 years after he went missing while climbing a mountain in Peru, AFP has reported.

William Stampfl, 59, was reported missing in June 2002 after an avalanche buried his climbing party while scaling Mount Huascarán, Peru’s highest peak.

Peru has lost more than half of its glacier surface in the last six decades and 175 glaciers have disappeared entirely due to the climate crisis between 2016 and 2020, scientists from a state agency studying glaciers found.

The World Meteorological Organisation said last year that the previous decade was the hottest on record, leading to polar and mountain ice melting and sea levels rising faster than in the 20th century. Glaciers have thinned by an “unprecedented” one metre a year while the Antarctic continental ice sheet lost nearly 75 per cent more ice between 2011 and 2020 than it did between 2001 and 2010, it said.

Peruvian police said ice melt had exposed Stampfl’s mummified and clothed body.

He was identified by the passport found among his belongings.

Police said Stampfl’s body was well-preserved by the Peruvian ice, with his clothes in good condition, the AFP reported. He was still wearing his boots and harness.

Mount Huascarán, which is situated about 270 miles (435km) north of the capital Lima, stands at more than 22,000ft (6,706m).

With its snowy peaks and stunning climbs, the Cordillera Blanca mountain range in north-eastern Peru is a magnet for mountaineers worldwide.

Stampfl embarked with two others – Steve Erskine and Matthew Richardson – on a 19-day round trip from California to Peru’s tallest summit.

But an avalanche upended their climb on 24 June 2002. Only Erskine’s body had previously been found.

Stampfl is at least the third person this year found dead in the region.

The body of an Italian climber who fell while scaling another peak was recovered last month, while an Israeli man was found dead in May nearly a month after his disappearance.

Last month, five bodies were found frozen in ice on the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest.

Glaciers are melting and receding around the world, which most scientists attribute to accelerating climate change.

Sources: AFP, BBC.
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