LIMA, Peru, (Reuters) -- Police recovered the body of a Czech mountaineer, the ninth climber to perish this year on Peru's glaciated peaks, and were investigating reports on Monday that three Danish climbers have died.
The climbing season in Peru's Andes, which boast the world's highest tropical mountain range and which draws adventurers from all over the world, typically stretches from mid-April until the end of September.
Garate said that more snow than usual and colder conditions this year could be behind the nine deaths this season.
On the Earlier climb (posted June 28):
LIMA, Peru (June 28, 2002 6:52 a.m. EDT) - Rescuers said Thursday they found the body of an American mountain climber caught in an avalanche and buried in a 200-foot crevasse on Peru's highest peak.
Searchers were still looking for the bodies of two other Americans who vanished Monday in the avalanche on Huascaran mountain, said Luis Garate, head of Peru's high-mountain rescue unit.
Huascaran, which soars to 22,334 feet, attracts climbers from around the world.
Three Austrian men and one German were killed in an avalanche on the towering peak on June 3.
The El Niņo phenomenon takes place every few years when temperatures in the Pacific rise above normal, having a major effect on weather patterns in South America. The last El Niņo in 1997 brought unseasonal snow to the Andes and had a big impact on the nature of big snow and ice routes in the following years.
The approach to the classic peak of Alpamayo in Peru, for example, went from being a straighforward steep snow climb to a precarious passage through a series of crevasses and seracs after heavy rain apparently carved its way through the glacier.