Bodies of missing Himalayas climbers discovered 30 years after disappearance

A Scottish mountaineer who spent weeks searching for two friends who disappeared in the Himalayas more than ...

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 11:49 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2018 11:49 AM

A Scottish mountaineer who spent weeks searching for two friends who disappeared in the Himalayas more than 30 years ago has spoken of his relief after their remains were finally found.

The bodies of Icelanders Kristinn Runarsson and Thorsteinn Gudjonsson were discovered at the bottom of a glacier by an American climber last month, according to a report from the Church of Scotland.

Himalayas

Mountains (by name)

Physical locations

Climber Steve Aisthorpe, a Church official, was with the two men during an October 1988 expedition to climb Pumori, a challenging 7,161 meter (23,494 foot) mountain near Everest, and said the discovery had united those who knew the pair and had brought closure.

"The discovery of the remains of Thorsteinn and Kristinn after so many years has inevitably brought many emotions to the surface for all who knew and loved these wonderful guys," he said.

"But it has also brought people together and, I pray, will help with greater closure and, in time, peace."

He said the bodies had likely been brought down the mountain by the retreating glacier. They were taken to Kathmandu for cremation and the ashes returned to Iceland.

Aisthorpe, a mission development worker, was forced to abandon his own summit attempt when he fell ill but encouraged the pair to continue without him.

He said that when he returned to their camp he felt a sense of foreboding.

"As I worked my way upwards, I desperately hoped that Kristinn and Thorsteinn had descended safely and were now lying in their sleeping bags in the tiny red tent camp," he said.

"As it came into view, I called out at the top of my voice -- my calls echoed from the rocks and ice before fading. But the silence was palpable."

He added that the positioning of the pair's ropes suggested that they had summited, or got close to summiting, the mountain.

Camera film discovered in the pocket of one of them had been sent to an expert for processing and could provide further clues to how they died, Aisthorpe said.

Runarsson's girlfriend was pregnant when he died on the mountain, his father Runar Gudbjartsson told the Iceland Monitor.

"Five months after he was declared deceased we sort of got him back, (his son is) the spitting image of his father," he said.

The pair had told friends that if anything happened to them, nobody should risk their lives to recover their remains, according to Runarsson's son.

"He told me that Kristinn and Thorsteinn had told people that if something happened to them, the mountain could keep them," said Runar Gudbjartsson. They didn't want to put people in danger to save them. The mountain would take what it was going to take."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33068

Reported Deaths: 2068
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9524558
Lake3494175
Cass15897
Allen141966
St. Joseph122134
Hendricks114268
Hamilton113292
Elkhart110128
Johnson1092106
Madison58459
Porter50522
Bartholomew49034
Clark47941
LaPorte42022
Tippecanoe3823
Howard37824
Delaware37636
Jackson3721
Shelby36822
Hancock32727
Floyd31739
Boone30535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2592
Montgomery23417
White2308
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Noble20421
Grant19721
Dubois1903
Harrison18921
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16512
Warrick16528
Dearborn16521
Vigo1538
Lawrence15223
Miami1401
Putnam1357
Jennings1294
Orange12422
Scott1203
Ripley1106
Franklin1098
Kosciusko1011
Carroll933
Daviess8416
Steuben812
Marshall801
Newton7610
Wayne756
Fayette747
Wabash742
LaGrange682
Jasper661
Washington511
Jay490
Fulton471
Clay461
Rush452
Randolph453
Jefferson431
Pulaski410
Whitley383
Owen351
Sullivan341
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke323
Perry280
Wells270
Benton260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford222
Parke190
Spencer191
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0161
West Lafayette
Few Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 81°
Kokomo
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 73°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 75°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 79°
Crawfordsville
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 76°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 78°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 75°
Cooler, less humid weather ahead by the weekend.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events