Body of American climber caught in avalanche 22 years ago found in Peru

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peruvian police said Tuesday they have found the body of an American climber who was buried after being swept away by an avalanche while attempting to summit one of the Andes’ highest peaks 22 years ago.

Police in the region of Ancash told The Associated Press that they found William Stample’s body on Friday near a camp 5,200 meters (17,060 feet) above sea level. Stample, 58, had been attempting to scale the 6,768-meter (21,000-foot) Mount Huascaran.

Police said Stample’s body and clothing had been preserved by the ice and freezing temperatures, and that the climber had a driver’s license, making identification of the body easy.

Hundreds of climbers visit the mountain every year with local guides, taking about a week to reach the summit. Stampfl attempted the climb in 2002 with friends Matthew Richardson and Steve Erskine. Erskine’s body was found shortly after the avalanche, but Richardson’s remains are still missing.

Stampf’s body was removed from the mountain by guides and police officers over the weekend and placed in the morgue in the city of Huaraz.

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