Body of second U.S. climber found in Sichuan 2009-06-08 16:43:48   Print

    CHENGDU, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers Monday found the body of the second of three missing U.S. climbers on Mount Gongga in southwest China's Sichuan Province, rescuers said.

    The body which had not been identified was found at 10:23 a.m. in snow, 300 meters from the first body, 4,000 meters above the sea level, said Lin Li, general secretary of Sichuan Mountaineering Association.

    Lin said the body might be one of the photographers of the climbing team, judging from his belongings, Lin told Xinhua.

    The body was found by a search team that included three leading Chinese climbers -- deputy head of China mountaineering team Tsenor, coach Li Qingfu and the provincial mountaineering association coach Li Zongli, he said.

    The search for the third climber would continue, but his chances of survival were very slim, Lin said.

    The extreme bad weather had greatly hindered the search, Lin said.

    The missing Americans are Jonathan Copp, 35, Micah Dash, 32, and Wade Johnson, 25, They disappeared after a series of avalanches on the mountain, said Li Zhixin, of the Chinese Mountaineering Association, on Sunday.

    The first found body was the well-known climber Jonathan Copp. His body was found on the mountain at 4,000 meters above sea level, at 9:13 a.m. Saturday, said Li.

    The team of two climbers and two photographers planned to ascend the summit of Mount Gongga (Mount Edgar), at 6,400 meters above sea level, on May 1 and return on May 28, and they had bought flight tickets for May 6, according to the plan they submitted to local government for their climbing registration.

    One of the photographers returned early, but the others had failed to return on May 6. The search began on June 3, the day the association received the report.

    Four U.S. climbers had arrived at the mountain and joined Chinese searchers.

    Mount Gongga is the highest mountain in Sichuan and one of the seven highest mountains open to the public in China. Only 24 people have successfully reached the summit and 22 have died on the mountain.

Editor: Xiong Tong
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