BODY FOUND; FOWLER OR BOSKOFF'S?

Posted on: December 28, 2006


A map of the mountains east of Batang, possible final resting place for missing American climbers Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff. A search on December 27 discovered a leg protruding from avalanche debris at 5300 meters; evidence indicates it may belong to one of the Americans. [Map] Tamotsu Nakamura

On December 18, the search for missing American climbers Charlie Fowler, 52, and Christine Boskoff, 38, had tracked down a sighting of two foreigners about a month earlier in a village north of Batang in China's Sichuan Province. Boskoff had cited the Genyen Monasteries in the area as subjects of interest, and there was information that she and Fowler may have intended to climb Yangmolong Peak (6060m) east of Batang. A search team in the area was directed to focus their efforts on tracking down more information on this report.

On December 26, the Field Coordinator in Chengdu reported that the Field Search Teams visited the Genyen Monastery and confirmed that Fowler and Boskoff stopped in on November 12. The Genyen monks are certain of the date because of a festival that occurred that day. They also confirmed that Fowler and Boskoff camped a few minutes from the monastery that night. They told the monks that they planned to travel north of the monastery and probably return for a visit in four days. The monks said they had not seen any people go north of the monastery since Fowler and Boskoff's visit. They also reported that it had snowed three to five centimeters during the festival, and continued to snow thru November 14, for a total of twenty-three centimeters. The search then concentrated on two mountains to the north of Genyen monastery: Genyen Peak (ca. 6200m) and an unnamed 5807-meter peak.

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On December 27, a body, mostly buried in the snow, was spotted at 1:30 p.m. (China time) by a Chinese member of one of the Field Search Teams. The location is at an approximate altitude of 5300m (17,388 feet), three hours above Lenggu Monastery in the Genyen Region. The body is currently unidentified and is not confirmed to be either Fowler or Boskoff. Details of the sighting include modern climbing equipment, blue gaitors, and grey boots. Dave Hillon, Chief, Consular Section U.S. Consulate General, Chengdu, China has notified both of the families. Hillon also reported that cooperation by the Chinese authorities has helped immensely to maintain an accelerated effort by all parties involved. The plan now is for additional Field Search Teams to return to the same area to confirm the identity of the body and to look for additional climbers and/or evidence.



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