July 29, 2012 in Nation/World

U.S. climbers suffer fatal fall in Peru

Associated Press
 

LIMA, Peru – Searchers on Saturday found the bodies of two U.S. mountaineers who apparently plunged to their deaths off a ridge after ascending a glacier-capped 20,000-foot Peruvian peak, the rescue coordinator said.

“They did summit and they got into trouble on the way down,” said coordinator Ted Alexander. “What led to the fall, I cannot tell you now.”

Gil Weiss, 29, and Ben Horne, 32, fell an estimated 1,000 feet off a ridge after reaching the west summit of Palcaraju in the Cordillera Blanca range in mid-July, he said.

“Unfortunately, they died whenever they fell because they had been there long in the snow,” he said from the nearby town of Huaraz, where he runs a guide business.

He said a private plane had helped the three-person search team piece together what might have happened. He said he would have a better idea of how the climbers died after examining photos taken by rescuers on-site.

Both Weiss, of Queens, N.Y., and Horne, of Annandale, Va., were experienced climbers. Weiss was a repeat visitor to the Cordillera Blanca while this trip was Horne’s first.

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