Remains of missing hiker found 37 years later in melting glacier – National


A retreating glacier in Switzerland has revealed the remains of a German mountain climber who was reported missing in September 1986.

On July 12, the hiker’s body was discovered on a thawing portion of the Theodul Glacier near the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, according to a press release from the Valais Cantonal Police.

Climbers in the region spotted the human remains alongside several pieces of equipment and reported the discovery to local authorities.

A photo of a single brown hiking boot with red laces was shared in the police press report. In the image, the wet boot, and several pieces of rusty climbing gear, are seen atop the snow.

The body and climbing gear were removed from the glacier and transported to the Swiss municipality of Sion for forensic analysis. There, officials determined the remains belonged to a 38-year-old German man who disappeared 37 years ago.

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Police have not publicly named the missing climber or the circumstances surrounding his death.

Police in Valais said the retreat of glaciers in the region is “increasingly revealing mountaineers, whose disappearance was reported decades ago.”

In 2022, glaciers in Switzerland saw the highest rate of melting since records were first created over a century ago. Last year, Swiss glaciers reportedly lost more than six per cent of their remaining volume.

The monitoring body GLAMOS said the glacial decline is so severe that rock previously buried by the ice for a millennium can now be seen in portions of the Alps. Other smaller glaciers have disappeared altogether.

Rising global temperatures and exceptionally low winter snowfall are believed to have caused the melt.

Click to play video: 'Drone views of ice cave caused by climate change in Switzerland'

Drone views of ice cave caused by climate change in Switzerland

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