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Missing US climber's body found in Tibet

Missing US climber's body found in Tibet

The body of one of the two American climbers missing since last month has been found in the mountains in Tibet.

Kathmandu: Searchers scouring two mountains in Tibet in pursuit of two American climbers missing since last month have come across the body of one buried in snow, while the other is still missing, a report said.

Christine Boskoff, who had summited Mt Everest in 2004, and her climbing partner Charlie Fowler were reported missing after they failed to catch a flight back home on December 4, as they had informed their friends by email.

The search for the missing climbers Wednesday resulted in the discovery of a body, buried in snow, at an approximate altitude of 5,300 metres (17,388 feet), in the Genyen region in Tibet.

After the US Consular Section in Chengdu, China, notified both the climbers' families, the body was identified as that of Fowler's, the climbers' blog site said.

The identification was made possible from the modern climbing equipment carried by the victim and his blue gaiters and grey boots.

Fowler probably died due to an avalanche. He was not wearing a harness and was not roped either to protect himself. Monks had told searchers there was fresh snowfall in the area.

However, there was still no sign of Boskoff, one of America's leading Alpinist climbers.

Boskoff, CEO of Mountain Madness, an adventure expedition organiser, and Fowler had set off on a vacation adventure, planning to scale unclimbed mountains in China.

They were declared missing after they failed to catch a flight back home to Colorado, as they had informed their friends.

The search for the missing duo gathered momentum after US officials, including the governor of Washington and a Colorado senator, requested the Chinese authorities for help.

The search team got a fresh clue earlier this week when they visited a monastery and were told by the monks that Fowler and Boskoff had camped close by November 12.

The duo had told the monks they were planning to proceed north and return in about four days.

The information received from the Genyen monastery made the searchers concentrate on the two mountains to the north of the monastery.

The two climbers were last spotted in an Internet café, from where they had sent emails to friends and relatives.

Later, Chinese officials said, a driver had dropped them off in Lamaya town, near the Tibet border, on November 11.

They had reportedly told the driver they planned to climb a peak known as the Genie Mountain and return in a couple of weeks.

They were also said to have left their luggage with the man, which was recovered by the search team.

first published:December 29, 2006, 16:05 IST