Remains of mountain climber who went missing 37 years ago have been discovered in the Alps
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The remains of a German mountain climber who went missing 37 years ago have been discovered by fellow climbers in the Alps.
Police first launched a search for the German climber, who has not been named, when he was reported missing in 1986 after he failed to return from a hike.
The climber was 38 years old at the time, but the searches proved unsuccessful, and for decades his whereabouts remained a mystery.
That all changed last month when climbers hiking near Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn on 12 July came across some human remains and several pieces of equipment.
In a statement shared last week, police said the remains were found along the Theodul Glacier in Zermatt before being taken to Valais Hospital for forensic analysis.
“DNA analysis enabled the identification of a mountain climber who had been missing since 1986,” police said, confirming the remains belonged to the German hiker.
Police shared a photo of one hiking boot with red laces which could be seen sticking out of the snow on the mountain.
The photo also revealed some hiking equipment which had belonged to the missing person.
Police did not share any additional information about the circumstances surrounding the hiker's death, but the discovery of his remains comes as melting ice on mountains has started to reveal the bodies of people who have died while attempting to climb them.
“The recession of the glaciers increasingly brings to light missing alpinists who were reported missing several decades ago,” police said.
Remains have been recovered on a number of different mountains, including on Italy's Mount Blanc.
In 2017, a shrinking glacier in Switzerland revealed the bodies of two hikers who went missing in 1942 while climbing and had never been found.
Police revealed at the time their bodies were discovered near a ski lift on the glacier by a staff member working for an adventure resort company.
The discovery of the German hiker's remains comes as countries across the globe have experienced extreme temperatures, with scientists revealing towards the end of July that the month was on track to be the planet’s hottest in around 120,000 years.
Glaciologist Lindsey Nicholson, at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, told CNN: “As the glaciers retreat, any material – including people who have fallen into or onto them and have been buried by subsequent snow – will emerge."
"All glaciers are melting very fast and receding across the European Alps," she added.