Bodies of elite climber, cameraman found in melting glacier

Alex Lowe is seen here climbing an ice flow in Hyalite Canyon near Bozeman, Mont., in early 1999. (AP Photo/Kristoffer Erickson)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The bodies of a renowned mountain climber and expedition cameraman who were buried in a Himalayan avalanche 16 years ago have been found.

The widow of Alex Lowe said in a statement Friday that two climbers attempting to ascend the 26,291-foot Shishapangma in Tibet discovered the remains of two people partially melting out of a glacier.

The climbers described the clothing and backpacks seen on the bodies to Conrad Anker, who was climbing with Lowe and cameraman David Bridges at the time of the October 1999 avalanche and survived. Anker concluded that the two were Bridges and Lowe, the statement said.

“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,” Jenni Lowe-Anker said.

She married Anker, her husband’s friend and fellow elite climber, in 2001. They live in Bozeman, Montana, and run the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation together.

Anker said the discovery has brought closure and relief to him.

He told Outside magazine that although he hasn’t seen photos of the remains, he’s convinced they are those of Lowe and Bridges.

“They were close to each other. Blue and red North Face backpacks. Yellow Koflach boots. It was all that gear from that time period. They were pretty much the only two climbers who were there,” Anker said.

Lowe, Anker, Bridges and several others were on an expedition to climb Shishapangma, the 14th highest mountain in the world, then ski down it. They were scouting out routes at about 19,000 feet when they saw a slab of snow break free 6,000 feet above them.

Lowe was regarded as the world’s greatest mountain climber when he was swept to his death at age 40. He was known jokingly as “Lungs With Legs” for his incredible strength and stamina. He had made difficult climbs all over the world, including Nepal’s Kwangde and Kusum Kanguru, and twice reached the summit of Mount Everest. In Peru, he climbed the southwest buttress of Taulliraju.

He was credited with rescuing several climbers in Alaska in 1995, a year when six climbers died on Mount McKinley.

Bridges, 29, of Aspen, Colorado was an accomplished high-altitude climber and cinematographer.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

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