Sunday, June 7, 2009

Missing In China

It's what we didn't want to hear... Sadly it appears that the Boulder based climbers that were attempting Mt Edgar in China have been claimed by an avalanche. One body has been discovered in a fan of avalanche debris near the advanced basecamp of this remote peak. Everyone is holding out hope that perhaps at least one of the 3 survived.

From a previous news thread:

June 5, 2009, Boulder, CO—Three Boulder, Colorado climbers—JonathanCopp (age 35), Micah Dash (age 30), and Wade Johnson (age 24)—areoverdue, having missed their flight on June 3 from Chengdu, China.

The three traveled to Mount Edgar (6818 meters/22,368 feet) on theMinya Konka massif, Western Sichuan Province, China. They embarked from base camp on May 20, 2009. There hasn’t been any contact with the climbers since.
Copp and Dash are highly experienced alpinists and professional climbers who have many years experience tackling big unclimbed mountains around the world. They received the Mugs Stump Award grant for this expedition from the American Alpine Club in 2008 but had to delay the climb until now, due to political unrest in the region. Johnson (a photographer with Sender Films) was accompanying Dash and Copp to base camp and did not intend to attempt the climb to the summit.

From this mornings news:

The latest news from China is that Xinhua News Agency, China’s official news organization, has named the three American climbers—Jonny Copp, Micah Dash, and Wade Johnson—as the victims of an avalanche. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing is, however, not confirming the identities but says they are American citizens.
Li Zhixin, an official with the Chinese Mountain Association, says that one body has been found and Chinese climbers are searching for the other two in avalanche debris. The body was located at 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) on Mount Edgar in the Minya Konka massif. The mountain is a sub-peak of 24,790-foot (7,556 meters) Mount Gongga, the highest mountain in the Sichuan Province in western China. The rescuers did not move the body because the surrounding area was unstable, instead taking photographs for identification later.

Of the 3 of them, I only know Jonny as he is the founder and energy behind the Boulder Adventure Film Festival. Jonny is a great character and advocate within the climbing community, but especially here in Boulder. Would be a huge loss.

And now confirmed:
June 7, 2009, Boulder, CO—The body found in avalanche debris at 4000 meters on Mount Edgar (6818 meters/22,368 feet), China, has been positively identified as Jonathan “Jonny” Copp, age 35 of Boulder, CO.

For more details and to help in the search...go to the Adventure Films website.