Fall believed to have killed Peru climbers

July 29, 2012 at 9:46 AM
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BOULDER, Colo., July 29 (UPI) -- Evidence points to a fall as the cause of death of two American mountain climbers whose bodies were found in Peru, a colleague said.

Ben Horne and Gil Weiss had been missing several days before a search party located their remains late Saturday on Palcaraju Oeste, a 20,000-foot mountain with a reputation for being treacherous and challenging for even the most-experienced climbers.

A friend of the pair, Asa Firestone, wrote on Facebook the bodies were located "after what looks to be a fall from the (southwest) ridge on their descent."

CNN said Firestone was not the only person who turned to the Internet after Weiss and Horne went missing earlier this month.

Shay Har-Noy, a friend who heads Tomnod, a satellite-imagery technology company, used an application he developed to allow a large number of friends and fellow climbers to pour over satellite photos of the area looking for signs of avalanches in the area where the pair was last reported. Their observations were relayed to search teams in Peru.

"These are two of the finest climbers we have known," Har-Noy said on the Tomnod Web site Saturday night. "Many of us have had the honor of sharing in their love for the wilderness, and that lives on."

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