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Bodies of two men found 16 years after avalanche in the Himalayas

Alex Lowe was regarded as the greatest climber of his generation when he died in 1999, alongside cinematographer David Bridges.

jppt_102 1995 photo of Alex Lowe (L) and his friend and fellow climber Conrad Anker, who survived the fatal avalanche in 1999. Source: Chris Noble/Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation

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 over the weekend 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, Jenni Lowe-Anker said in the statement.

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.

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.

1523487537_5f5383f3dd_b Mt Shishapangma in the Himalayas Source: Vijay Kiran via Flickr

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.

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.

Read: 12 bodies found in the Himalayas after deadly snowstorm>

Read: Mummified bodies found on Mexico’s highest peak>

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