Rice graduate and fellow US climber found dead in Peru

Rice graduate and fellow US climber found dead in Peru

Rice graduate and fellow US climber found dead in Peru

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by Associated Press and KHOU.com Staff

khou.com

Posted on July 28, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 28 at 6:35 PM

LIMA, Peru -- Searchers have found the bodies of two U.S. mountaineers who perished on their way down from a glacier-capped Peruvian peak in mid-July.

Rescue coordinator Ted Alexander says a three-man team found the bodies of 29-year-old Gil Weiss and 32-year-old Ben Horne on Palcaraju in the Cordillera Blanca range on Saturday.

He says they died in a fall off a ridge after summiting the 20,000-foot (6,100-meter) west peak. Alexander estimated the men fell 300 meters (nearly 1,000 feet).

Horne is a 2002 graduate of Rice University in Houston.

One of Horne’s former classmates, who worked in the campus radio station with Horne, recalled a free-spirited young man with a drive to explore.

“I think a lot of us lived vicariously through him,” said Johnny So. “Most of us graduated and got desk jobs somewhere. And he was out in Azserbaijan or Baku.”

The two mountaineers had planned an excursion of between 7-10 days and their families contacted Alexander after 13 days passed with no word from the two, he said.

Alexander says it should not be too difficult to remove the bodies of Weiss, from Queens, N.Y., and Horne, of Annandale, Virginia, and that can hopefully be done on Sunday.

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