famed climbers

The body of Alex Lowe (left) was discovered last week. He tragically died in an avalanche in 1999. Conrad Anker (right) was injured by the same avalanche but survived. Photo: Courtesy of Chris Noble/ Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation

The bodies of famed climber Alex Lowe and cameraman David Bridges have just been found in the Himalayas after the two perished more than 16 years ago in an avalanche.

“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’s widow Jennifer Lowe-Anker said in a press statement Friday.

The two were part of a climbing expedition in 1999 on Shishapangma, the world’s 14th-highest mountain.

Along with mountaineer Conrad Anker, the three were scouting out a coulier on the mountain in hopes of skiing the 8,000-meter peak. The team was attempting to be the first group of North Americans to do so.


Shishapangma is the only peak above 8,000 meters located in China. Photo: Courtesy of John Town/Flickr

The avalanche injured Anker as well but he managed to make it out alive.

After searching for days with the other skiers that were on the expedition, the search party could not find the men’s bodies.

Anker married Jennifer, Lowe’s widow, two years after the accident. The two fell in love while Anker helped her care for Lowe’s three sons.

Their story was covered in Jennifer’s memoir, Forget Me Not, and later in the award-winning documentary, Meru, which was in theaters last year.

The discovery of the bodies has brought relief to both Anker and his wife.

Alex Lowe

A nonprofit organization was set up in Alex Lowe’s name to better the lives of people in remote villages. Photo: Courtesy of Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation

“After 16-and-a-half years, this brings closure and relief for me and Jenni and for our family,” Anker said.

He received a phone call last Wednesday from climbers David Goettler and Ueli Steck, who were acclimatizing on Shishapangma in an effort to climb the south face of the mountain.

“They had come across the remains of two climbers still encased in blue ice but beginning to emerge from the glacier,” the press release states. “Goettler described the clothing and packs of the climbers to Conrad who concluded that the two were undoubtedly David Bridges and Alex Lowe.”

Jennifer and Conrad were in Nepal when they received the call. They were there running the nonprofit foundation founded in Lowe’s name.

It helps native people in remote areas by providing direction and financial support to sustainable, community-based humanitarian programs.

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