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Ashes of missing US mountaineer are heading home
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09:49, September 29, 2007

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 Body of US climber found on Sichuan mountain
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The ashes of US world-class mountaineer Christine Boskoff, who went missing in Sichuan Province last December, are on the way back home.

A search team from Boskoff's Seattle-based guide company Mountain Madness recovered her body from the 6,204-meter Genyen Peak last week, more than two months after it was located.

Mark Gunlogson, president of Mountain Madness, worked with Chinese climbers to recover the body, according to the firm's website.

Boskoff's remains were cremated in a Buddhist ceremony and will be returned to her native Wisconsin.

"In such a beautiful and pristine place one can only imagine that Chris and Charlie's last few days were among the best in their rich and adventurous lives as climbers," Gunlogson said.

"It was a difficult journey but one that will hopefully bring her family peace."

Boskoff, 40, and her climbing partner Charlie Fowler, 52, vanished in mid-December on an expedition in Litang County, Sichuan Province.

Fowler's body was recovered on December 27, and Gunlogson said earlier the discovery of Boskoff's remains at about the same elevation, 5,334 meters, provided further evidence that the two were hit by an avalanche.

But dangerous conditions forced search teams to abandon their search for Boskoff.

Boskoff's body was found in early July, but conditions again prevented the recovery of her remains.

Boskoff reached the summit of Mount Qomolangma twice and was the first North American woman to reach the summit of 8,414-meter Lhotse, the world's fourth-highest peak.

Her last communication with friends was in an e-mail message to Mountain Madness last November 8.

Remains found

In another development, rescuers have retrieved remains believed to be the bodies of two Japanese mountaineers who disappeared 26 years ago in Southwest China, a mountaineering association official said on Friday.

The two mountaineers were among a 12-strong team from Hokkaido, Japan, which set out to climb Mount Gongga in Sichuan Province in May 1981.

Eight members disappeared after a fall when the team was moving to an area 7,450 meters above sea level, said Gao Min, deputy secretary of the Sichuan provincial mountaineering association. Six bodies were later found.

Chinese and Japanese authorities had continued to search in the intervening decades for the last two bodies.

Local villagers reported the discovery of the remains on a glacier at 4,040 meters above sea level on Mount Gongga to the local government of Garze in the Tibet Autonomous Region in early June, Gao said.

On June 9, a search team led by Gao arrived at the site.

"From the features of the gloves and bands found beside the remains, we believed that they were the missing Japanese climbers," Gao said.

Source: China Daily - Xinhua

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