Body of American climber buried by an avalanche 22 years ago in Peru has been found

Police said Stampfl's body and clothing were preserved by the ice and freezing temperatures.

ByFRANKLIN BRICEÑO AP logo
Tuesday, July 9, 2024
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LIMA, Peru -- Police in Peru said Tuesday they have found the body of an American mountaineer who was buried by an avalanche 22 years ago as he tried to climb one of the highest peaks in the Andes.

Police in the Ancash region told The Associated Press they found the body of William Stampfl on Friday near a camp 5200 meters (17,060 feet) above sea level. The 58-year-old Stampfl had been trying to climb the 6,768-meter Mount Huascaran.

Police said Stampfl's body and clothing were preserved by the ice and freezing temperatures. They said the body was easy to identify also because the climber had been carrying his driving license.

This photo distributed by the Peruvian National Police shows police carrying a body that they identify as U.S. mountain climber William Stampfl.
This photo distributed by the Peruvian National Police shows police carrying a body that they identify as U.S. mountain climber William Stampfl.
Peruvian National Police via AP

Hundreds of climbers visit the mountain each year with local guides, and it takes them about a week to reach the summit. Stampfl was with friends Matthew Richardson and Steve Erskine when they attempted the ascent in 2002. Erskine's body was found shortly after the avalanche, but Richardson's is still missing.

Stampfl's body was brought down the mountain over the weekend by guides and police officers and put in a morgue in the city of Huaraz.