In 1999, elite climber Alex Lowe and cameraman David Bridges disappeared in an avalanche while attempting to climb 26,291-foot Shishapangma in Tibet, the 14th highest mountain in the world. 16 years later, their bodies have been found in a partially melting glacier, reported ABC News.
Conrad Anker was climbing with his best friend Lowe, as well as Bridges and several others at the time of the avalanche, but survived. When the avalanche hit, Anker ran to the left, while Lowe and Bridges ran down and to the right and were buried in snow and ice.
"From my perspective there was just this big white cloud, and then it settled and there was nothing there," Anker told Outside Magazine. He and the rest of the climbers on the expedition spent two day searching for Lowe and Bridges but found no sign whatsoever. On April 27, 16 years and 6 months later, Anker identified the clothing of the bodies found as belonging to Lowe and Bridges.
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When Anker returned to Bozeman, Montana after Lowe was lost, he began helping Lowe's widow Jenni raise their three sons. The two fell in love and married in 2001, a story that Jenni Lowe-Anker told in her memoir, Forget Me Not, and was detailed in the documentary Meru that came out last year.
Lowe was regarded as one of the best climbers in the world when he died in the avalanche at age 40. He'd completed many difficult climbs in his life including Mount Everest twice, Taulliraju in Peru, and Kwangde and Kusum Kanguru in Nepal. His nickname was "lungs with legs" for his incredible strength and stamina.
Jenni Lowe-Anker, Conrad Anker, and their three boys will travel to Tibet to recover Lowe's body this summer. They want to take care of his body according to local tradition in Nyalam, the closest city to Shishapangma. "It's never something you look forward to," Jenni told Outside. "To see the body of somebody you loved and cared about. But there is a sense that we can put him to rest, and he's not just disappeared now."