Sunday, July 14, 2024

My dad died up a mountain 22 years ago. A stranger just found him

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In the two decades since Bill Stampfl disappeared in an avalanche in the Peruvian Andes, his son Joseph had come to accept that his father would be forever lost under the mountain’s icy expanse.

Joseph, 51, occasionally entertained thoughts that his father had somehow escaped the deluge of ice and snow and was roaming Peru with no memory of his former life. “But of course,” he told The Times, “that’s just a fairytale. A dreamland, you know.”

Then one morning late last month, he received a phone call from Ryan Simpson, a fellow American, with startling news. Simpson had located Bill’s body while climbing Mount Huascaran, Peru’s highest peak.

Joseph Stampfl with his father and stepmother, Janet Stampfl-Raymer

Joseph Stampfl with his father and stepmother, Janet Stampfl-Raymer

“I had my doubts initially, just because that’s so out of left field 20 years later,”

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