Maine climber found 21 years after fateful fall while ice climbing

Posted Aug. 30, 2010, at 3:32 p.m.

JASPER, Alberta — The body of a mountain climber from Maine has been discovered in a melting glacier more than two decades after the man fell 1,000 feet to his death in the Canadian Rockies, a park official said.

The remains of William Holland, 38, of Gorham, were found in Jasper National Park in Alberta this month by a pair of hikers, said Garth Lemke, public safety expert with Parks Canada.

Lemke said glacial ice preserved the body, which had a mummified appearance. “If you look at where he was, he was basically in a deep freeze for the last 21 years,” he said.

Holland had reached the top of the Slipstream on Snow Dome Mountain on the Columbia Icefields in 1989 when an outcropping gave way, sending him tumbling.

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His climbing partner sought help from another climbing party, but an avalanche struck before searchers arrived the next day, Lemke said. The search was called off.

There are at least two other cases in which mountain climbers in Jasper National Park have disappeared since the 1970s and are presumed dead, Lemke said.

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