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The bodies of a world-renowned mountain climber and an accomplished expedition cameraman who were caught in an avalanche and killed in the Himalayan mountains have been recovered 16 years after their deaths.
Alex Lowe, 40, and David Bridges, 29, were killed while ascending the 26,291-foot Shishapangma mountain when an avalanche struck in October 1999. A second mountaineer, Conrad Anker, survived with multiple injuries and later led an hours-long search for Lowe and Bridges, to no avail.
The pair “were captured and frozen in time,” Lowe's widow, Jennifer Lowe-Anker, said in a statement.
Two men preparing to climb Shishapangma found the remains of two climbers in a thawing glacier on Friday. They described the clothing worn by the unidentified pair to Anker, who confirmed they were Lowe and Bridges.
“Sixteen years of life has been lived, and now they are found. We are thankful,” Lowe-Anker said.
After Lowe's death, his widow married Anker and wrote a memoir titled “Forget Me Not.” The couple live in Bozeman, Montana, and celebrated their 15th anniversary last month. Together they run the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, which aims to promote safe climbing practices in Nepal.
“After 16 1/2 years, this brings closure and relief for me and Jenni and for our family,” Anker said.
Lowe was widely regarded as one of the most skilled climbers of his generation. Among other accomplishments, he reached the summit of Mount Everest twice, climbed Nepal's Kwangde Nup and Kusum Kanguru and earned nicknames like "The Mutant" and the "Lung on Legs."
Bridges, a two-time U.S. national paragliding champion, was an accomplished climber and cinematographer.