Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Missing Colorado climber found in China

One unidentified body thought to be Colorado climber Christine Boskoff or her partner Charlie Fowler apparently has been found.

The AP reports: The body of a U.S. climber missing for more than a month has been found on a remote mountain in southwestern China while a second climber is still missing and presumed dead, a rescue coordinator said Wednesday.
The body discovered was partially buried and has not been identified, said Arlene Burns, a friend of the climbers, Christine Boskoff and Charlie Fowler.
"The rescuers were told to take pictures without disturbing anything. They will go back up in the morning with shovels," Burns said from Telluride, Colo., where she was helping to coordinate the rescue effort.
Boskoff, a top female climber, and Fowler, a climbing guide and photographer, were reported missing after they failed to return to the United States on Dec. 4.
"We are tremendously sad they are not coming home, but they were doing what they loved," Burns said. "For these guys, they were there by choice, climbing beautiful, pristine peaks with someone they respected at the top of their skills."

Burns, who was notified about the discovery by a U.S. mountaineering official heading up the search on the ground, said it was too early to say what happened.
"Whether they fell off the face or were swept off the face, we don't know," she said.
The body was found at the 17,390-foot level on Genie Mountain, also known as Genyen Peak, not far from the Sichuan border with Tibet. The mountain is 20,354 feet high.
Unlike the case of the missing climbers on Mount Hood in Oregon, the search had been complicated because the two did not leave detailed plans and rescuers initially did not even know which province in southwestern China to search.
But a clue to their whereabouts emerged several days ago, when rescue workers found a driver who had dropped the pair off near the mountain on Nov. 11.
Boskoff and Fowler told him they would climb the mountain and that he could meet them on Nov. 24 so they could pick up their bags, but they did not show up.
Boskoff ascended six of the world's peaks over 26,000 feet, including
Mount Everest. She owned Mountain Madness, a Seattle adventure travel company.
Fowler was an expert on climbing in southwestern China. He guided climbers up Everest and climbed some of the tallest and most difficult peaks.
Burns said both climbers had homes in Norwood, Colo.

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