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09th Jul 2024

Perfectly preserved body of man found 22 years after he vanished

Simon Kelly

It’s the second mummified body to be discovered in the area recently.

The preserved body of a man has been found 22 years after he vanished on a snowy peak in Peru.

American mountaineer William Stampfl was reported missing in June 2002 while he was part of a climbing party scaling the Huascaran mountain in the Andes.

The party was buried by an avalanche and search efforts at the time were impossible.

However ice-melt has now uncovered the man, who was 59 when he disappeared, with his body perfectly preserved.

Perfectly preserved body of man found 22 years after he vanished

Peruvian police have revealed that Mr Stampfl’s remains, as well as his clothes, harness, boots and passport had been well-preserved by the cold.

Peru has lost more than half of its glacier surface in the last 60 years.

Scientists have found that 175 glaciers have disappeared entirely between 2016 and 2020, due to the climate crisis.

The discovery of the man’s body comes just over a year after a climber’s body was found attached to a glacier in February 2023, nearly 42 years after she suffered an accident while on an expedition in the Andes.

Marta Emilia Altamirano died aged 20 in March 1981 after she slipped on ice and fell hundreds of metres to her death, according to the sister who accompanied her.

Multiple efforts to access her remains over the years proved fruitless until her mummified remains were discovered at an altitude of around 5,000 metres.