Climbers Alex Lowe and David Bridges’ bodies found in Tibet after 16 years


Post 7589

Climbers Alex Lowe and David Bridges’ bodies found in Tibet after 16 years

Alex Lowe (L) and David Bridges in 1995
Image copyrightAlex Lowe Foundation
Image captionAlex Lowe (L) – seen here with Conrad Anker – and David Bridges were close friends as well as regular climbing partners

The bodies of two American climbers have been found in a glacier in the Himalayas, 16 years after they were killed by a huge avalanche.

World-renowned mountaineer Alex Lowe had been climbing the 8,013m (26,290ft) Shishapangma peak in Tibet in October 1999 with cameraman David Bridges when they were hit.

They were found by two climbers last week, still trapped in the ice.

Mr Lowe’s wife, Jennifer Lowe-Anker, said they had been “frozen in time”.

‘Closure and relief’

Mr Lowe, 40, was considered one of the greatest mountain climbers of his generation and was well known in the climbing community for having rescued several other climbers.

He and Mr Bridges, 29, were close friends as well as climbing partners, and had been scouting a route up Shishapangma, the 14th highest mountain in the world.

Alex Lowe
Image copyrightAlex Lowe Foundation
Image captionAlex Lowe was considered one of the greatest mountaineers of his generation

The discovery of their bodies was announced on Friday by Mrs Lowe-Anker, who now runs a charitable foundation in her late husband’s name with her husband, Conrad Anker.

Mr Anker had been on Shishapangma with the two climbers on the day of the avalanche but escaped with minor injuries. He and other climbers spent days searching for the missing pair.

He married Alex Lowe’s widow in 2001 and adopted her three sons with the mountaineer.

The couple were in Nepal with their charity last week when they received a call from climbers David Goettler and Ueli Steck, saying they had found two bodies “still encased in blue ice but beginning to emerge from the glacier”, said Mrs Lowe-Anker.

They described the clothing and equipment to Mr Anker, who said it was “undoubtedly” the missing pair, said the charity’s statement.

Mr Anker told Outside magazine that it was “fitting” the men were found by climbers.

“It wasn’t a yak herder. It wasn’t a trekker. David and Ueli are both cut from the same cloth as Alex and me.”

Alex Lowe climbing a rock face
Image copyrightAlex Lowe Foundation
Image captionAlex Lowe had rescued several other climbers during his career

The bodies are now expected to be recovered from the mountain.

Mr Anker said the discovery “brings closure and relief for me and Jenni and for our family”.

Mrs Lowe-Anker said she and her husband and sons with Mr Lowe would now travel to Shishapangma, saying: “It is to put Alex to rest.”

Body of world-class climber may have been found 16 years later

Alex Lowe was a world-class climber.

Story highlights

  • Climber Alex Lowe and cameraman David Bridges were presumed dead after avalanche in 1999
  • Their bodies may have been found in a Tibetan mountain, says Lowe’s widow and friend

(CNN)Sixteen years after Alex Lowe, a world-class climber, and David Bridges, a cameraman, were struck by an avalanche in a Tibetan mountain, their bodies may have been found encased in blue ice.

Alex Lowe was a world-renowned alpinist — many regarded him as the world’s best climber at the time. He climbed Mount Everest twice, the Matterhorn and also scaled El Capitan in Yosemite 16 times.
In October 5, 1999, Lowe and Bridges were on a hike to check out a possible location they had hoped to ski on Shishapangma, the 14th highest mountain in the world, according to Outside Magazine.
But that day, a massive avalanche struck and swept them away. Their companions on the hike, including climber Conrad Anker, searched for the pair, but never found them.
Sixteen years had passed when last Wednesday, Anker received a call from two climbers who were on the south face of Shishapangma. The climbers, David Goettler and Ueli Steck, had come across the frozen remains of two people that were “beginning to emerge from the glacier,” according to a statement from the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation.
Climber: Avalanche victim was my equal

Climber: Avalanche victim was my equal 03:42
One of the climbers described the clothing and the pack on the two bodies to Anker, who “concluded that the two were undoubtedly David Bridges and Alex Lowe,” according to the statement.
Anker had married Lowe’s widow, Jenni Lowe-Anker in 2001 and adopted Lowe’s three sons. He said in a statement that the discovery “brings closure and relief for me and Jenni and our family.”
Lowe-Anker said the whole family planned to make a pilgrimage to Shishapangma.
“Alex and David vanished, were captured and frozen in time. Sixteen years of life has been lived and now they are found. We are thankful,” she said in a statement.
Lowe-Anker established the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation in 1999 in the memory of her first husband. The foundation fosters projects such as the Khumbu Climbing Center that offers technical training for local Himalayan mountain workers.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s