Search halted for U.S. climber in China until spring |

Search halted for U.S. climber in China until spring

Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE ” The search for the body of U.S. mountain climber Christine Boskoff on a remote peak in China has been halted, probably until spring, a spokesman for Boskoff’s Seattle-based travel adventure company said Friday.

David Jones, a director of Boskoff’s company, Mountain Madness, said winter weather has made it unsafe to continue looking for her body.

“Winter is definitely setting in in China and this area and there is a very high likelihood the search and recovery effort will be called off until the spring,” Jones said.

Boskoff disappeared along with fellow climber and photographer Charlie Fowler weeks ago while they were approaching China’s 20,354-foot Genyen Peak. A body found in the snow was identified as Fowler, friends of the pair said Thursday.

Fowler and Boskoff were not roped together ” as friends initially believed they would be ” when they were apparently buried by an avalanche high on the peak.

Jones said Friday that it has been snowing at the mountain’s 17,000-foot level, and searchers were called out of the avalanche field because conditions were too dangerous.

He said Mountain Madness officials will keep in contact with people in China and will resume the search when conditions permit.

Fowler’s body was being removed, but will take days to leave the remote area, Jones said. Fowler’s body was found Wednesday and recovered Thursday.

Boskoff, a top female climber, and Fowler, a well-known climbing guide and photographer from Norwood, Colo., were reported missing after they failed to return to the United States on Dec. 4.

The search was hampered initially because the two did not leave details of where they planned to climb.

Relatives in Appleton, Wis., said Boskoff never discussed the possibility she might die while climbing. But Boskoff’s family knew she was doing what she loved, despite the risks, her brother Paul Feld said earlier this week.

“She didn’t need to say it,” he said. “We knew that.”

The family’s phone was busy when The Associated Press tried to call Friday.

Boskoff began climbing while studying electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

She bought Mountain Madness in 1997, shortly after the death of founder Scott Fischer. Fischer perished along with seven other people when a storm struck on Mount Everest ” a tragedy detailed in Jon Krakauer’s best-seller “Into Thin Air.”

In a 2002 interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Boskoff hinted that she knew dying while climbing was a possibility.

“Life is really for the living. You can’t bring your life with you when you die. No matter how many medals you own and how many peaks you climb, it’s not going to mean anything to you when you’re six feet under,” she said.

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