After 16 Years, Mountain Gives Up Climbing Legend's Body

Alex Lowe, cameraman perished in Tibet avalanche
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2016 4:14 AM CDT
After 16 Years, Mountain Gives Up US Climbing Legend
At least 27 people have died trying to conquer Shishapangma.   (Wikimedia Commons/Zhangmoon618)

The frozen remains of one of the greatest American mountain climbers who ever lived have been found on the mountain where he died. Alex Lowe was 40 years old and considered the best in the world when he died alongside cameraman David Bridges in October 1999, the AP reports. They had been scouting routes up the 26,289-foot Shishapangma in Tibet. His widow says that last week, two climbers looking for a new route up the mountain, the world's 14th highest, found the bodies of Lowe and Bridges thanks to ice melt. "I kind of never realized how quickly it would be that he'd melt out," Jenni Lowe-Anker tells Outside magazine. "I thought it might not be in my lifetime."

"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," Lowe-Anker said in a statement on the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation website. Conrad Anker, Lowe's best friend and climbing partner, was almost killed in the same avalanche. In 2001, he married Lowe's widow and adopted his three sons, who are now adults. All five members of the family plan to visit Tibet this summer to recover the bodies. "It's never something you look forward to," Lowe-Anker says. "To see the body of somebody you loved and cared about. But there is a sense that we can put him to rest, and he's not just disappeared now." (On nearby Mount Everest, some of the more than 200 frozen bodies are used as landmarks by other climbers.)

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