August 7, 2002
For those of
you that are receiving the word of my father's death for the first
time via this email, I apologize for the way that you are finding
word from the Peruvian government is: After over a month of searching,
all official searches have been stopped. Bill Stampfl, Steve Erskine
& Matthew Richardson, all perished as a result of an ice avalanche
on June 24th, 2002 at the 19,000-foot level of the Huascaran mountain
peak in Lima, Peru.
embassy in Peru did a remarkable job in their efforts to keep us
updated on a regular basis with regards to the search and rescue
operations for the two remaining men that had yet to be found. It
wasn't until the early parts of last week that we again heard from
the embassy with the unfortunate news that the third and final search
turned up nothing.
My dad's personal
belongings that had been left at the hotel and base camp were collected
by the embassy in Peru, cataloged, packaged, and shipped out late
last week. We received the packages yesterday. Among his personal
belongings, were several post cards of the mountain peaks, a clay
caricature statue of a native man playing a wood flute on a pack
mule (don't ask, it must have meant something to him) and film that
had been used prior to his fatal climb. We hope that once we have
the film processed, we will be able to see what an exciting time
my dad was having in Peru before this tragic event.
My family thanks
everyone for their continued prayers. Please keep them coming. We
will all need much strength as the reality of my father's death
begins to soak in; we are all still very numb and have yet to really
begin what I fear will be a very difficult time to come.
At this point,
a memorial service is planned for Sept. 14th at 3:00 p.m. Should
you be interested in joining us, please contact me for further information.
v i s u a l.r
e a l m s.
Joseph W. Stampfl