Missing climber’s body found in melting glacier 20 years later
JASPER, ALTA.—A pair of hikers in the Rocky Mountains have discovered the thawed remains of an American climber who had been missing since he fell from a summit in the Columbia Icefield more than 20 years ago.
William Holland, 38, of Gorham, Maine had reached the top of an ice climb known as “Slipstream” on Snow Dome mountain in 1989 and was standing on a cornice — a projecting lip of wind-hardened snow — when it gave way. He fell more than 300 metres.
His partner and other two climbers descended for help, but the search for Holland was eventually called off when an avalanche obliterated the area and worsening weather increased the risks to the searchers.
Garth Lemke of Parks Canada went to the scene after the hikers reported their discovery earlier this month and says the glacial ice that covered the body had thawed and that the body resembled a mummy.
He said RCMP have notified Holland’s family.
Lemke said there are at least two other cases of climbers who’ve gone missing in Jasper National Park since the 1970s who are presumed dead but whose bodies have never been found.