Annandale Man Dies During Climb in Peru
The bodies of Ben Horne of Annandale and Gil Weiss of Queens, N.Y. were found Saturday.
Annandale native Ben Horne, 32, was found dead Saturday following a climb in the Cordillera Blanca range in Peru.
Horne and 29-year-old Queens, N.Y. resident Gil Weiss went missing on July 11 when they set off to climb the 20,000-foot (6,100-meter) peak in the west summit of Palcaraju. ABC 7 reported "searchers found the climbers' tent at 16,700 feet (5,100 meters) and tracks coming off the summit as well as evidence of an avalanche."
On Friday, the Associated Press reported that a three-person search team set out to look for Horne and Weiss. Their bodies were found on Saturday. Rescue coordinator Ted Alexander told the Associated Press that Horne and Weiss fell an estimated 300 meters (nearly 1,000 feet) off a ridge.
The Washington Post reported the bodies were brought down from the mountain on Sunday and an accident report is expected this week.
Both Horne, who attended Canterbury Woods Elementary School, and Weiss were reported to be experienced climbers. The website for the climbing group pullharder.org, described the men as “two of the finest climbers we have ever known… embodying the spirit of the mountains with every thing they did.”
According to the Washington Post, Horne, a graduate of Rice University and Johns Hopkins University, was working toward his doctorate in economics at the University of California at San Diego.
Christine Horne, Ben’s mother, told the Washington Post that Ben started mountain climbing in 2002 during his two years with the Peace Corps.
Lindsey Smith, who served in the Peace Corps with Horne in 2002 and 2003 in Kyrgyzstan, described him as a friendly, charismatic guy with a love for both nature and adventuring.
“He was always achieving, learning, adventuring. He was always putting himself out there to make himself a better person,” said Smith.
Smith said Horne was one of the first in their group to make friends when they arrived in Kyrgyzstan.
“Nothing fazed him. He was just a great guy. I feel lucky to have known him," said Smith.
The family has not released information about funeral arrangements.