IMAGE: Christine Boskoff
Gordon Smith  /  AP
In this undated photo provided by Gordon Smith, top female mountain climber Christine Boskoff is seen on Mount Rainier in Washington state. The search for Boskoff on a snowy China peak has been suspended, her adventure company said Friday.
updated 12/29/2006 3:54:07 PM ET 2006-12-29T20:54:07

The threat of avalanches has forced climbers to call off their search for a U.S. adventure company owner who disappeared on a remote, snowy peak in northern China, the company said Friday.

The snow-covered body of Christine Boskoff's climbing partner, photographer Charlie Fowler, was found high on the mountain Wednesday, and friends said Boskoff was also believed to be dead.

David Jones, a director of Mountain Madness, said harsh winter weather had made it unsafe for searchers to stay on China's 20,354-foot Genyen Peak.

Fowler was believed to have been swept up an avalanche. The climbers' friends initially thought the two would have been roped together and Boskoff would be found nearby, but that wasn't the case.

Jones said Friday that snow storms had made the avalanche field where the body was found too dangerous for searchers to remain.

Fowler's body was still being removed from the remote area, Jones said. He said Mountain Madness would keep in contact with people in China and resume the search when conditions permit, likely in the spring.

Boskoff, a top female climber, bought Mountain Madness in 1997 after another of its founders died along with seven other people when a storm struck on Mount Everest — a tragedy detailed in Jon Krakauer's best seller "Into Thin Air." The company conducts guided climbs in Washington state, on Mount Everest and elsewhere.

Boskoff and Fowler, who lived in Norwood, Colo., were reported missing after they failed to return to the United States as planned on Dec. 4.

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