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Mountain Climber's Body Is Recovered in Iran

August 28, 2004|From Associated Press

PALO ALTO — Searchers have found the body of a woman who disappeared while scaling Iran's Mt. Damavand, a newspaper reported Friday.

Kathleen Namphy, 69, a retired Stanford University lecturer, was a veteran mountain climber who tackled Mt. Kilimanjaro last year. But she had fallen and hit her head on a rock while descending the mountain near Tehran on Sunday, according to her interpreter, Mehrdad Etemadi. The mountain is more than 18,000 feet high.

Namphy's badly frost-damaged body was found Thursday, a few thousand feet below the place where she was last seen alive, Cyrus Etemadi, of the Tehran tourist agency, which had arranged the trip, told the San Jose Mercury News.

Mehrdad Etemadi said that after Namphy fell, he left her with another group while he went to get help.

"For one or two minutes, she couldn't talk, she couldn't move," Etemadi said. "I moved her, she started to open her eyes, but her head was bleeding."

Although the other hikers assured him that they would stay by Namphy's side, they and the injured woman were gone when rescuers arrived four hours later at the dark and snowy site 300 feet from the summit. Etemadi said the other hikers haven't been located.

Namphy, a cancer survivor, had lived in Iran for 10 years while she worked in the international zoo business, said her daughter, Lisa-Marie Namphy. She had also worked as a professor at the American University in Beirut.

"This was a life to celebrate," said her oldest son, Michael Namphy. "The bottom line is that she lived well and seems to have died well. We've been talking about it, and at some point, we'll try to go up that mountain."

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