Body of missing British climber found

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The Independent US

Rescue teams in the United States have found the body of an English mountain climber who had been missing since Wednesday.

Police say they located the body of Craig Heimstra on Mount Shasta, California on Friday afternoon, at an elevation of 3,050 meters (10,000 feet).

Mr Heimstra of Essex, and John F. Miksits, 45, of Sacramento, California, disappeared Wednesday morning after becoming disoriented as they descended the 4,316-meter (14,162-foot) Mt. Shasta summit, officials said.

Weather conditions at the time were severe, with snow and 100 kph (60 mph) winds, said Grizz Adams of the Siskiyou County Sheriff's search and rescue team.

"In a white out condition like that, you could walk right by somebody and not even see them," he said.

Two other members of their climbing group had decided not to try for the summit that day and remained in the camp. The members are from Sacramento and their names have not been released.

Adams did not know Heimstra's exact age, but said he was probably in his 40s. Heimstra had family in Chowchilla, California. The cause of death was not yet known, and an autopsy would probably be done on Monday, Adams said.

Both Heimstra and Miksits were said to be experienced climbers who carried survival equipment including a tent, sleeping bags, food and a stove.

Due to severe weather conditions on the mountain, avalanche danger above 3,352 meters (11,000 feet) was listed by the U.S. Forest Service as "considerable," meaning natural avalanches are likely and human-caused avalanches are probable.

The search for Miksits was set to resume this morning.

"We're still remaining hopeful we'll be able to find the other missing person," Adams said. "We've received information indicating that in such conditions he probably would have built a snow-cave, so we hope that's the case."