Alpinist's remains found on Austrian glacier after 20 years
August 22, 2023 10:29 PM
An Alpine guide has discovered what are believed to be the remains of an Austrian who died more than 20 years ago on the country's fastest melting glacier, police said Tuesday.
The discovery follows the finding of human remains on the same glacier less than two months ago.
Climate change has accelerated the melting of glaciers, with the retreating ice releasing bodies of alpinists it has held for years, often decades.
A guide found the corpse at about 2,900 metres (9,500 feet) on the Schlatenkees glacier in Tyrol province last Friday, police said in a statement. A backpack was found near the corpse, containing cash, a bank card and a driving license.
Police suspect the body is that of a 37-year-old man who died on the glacier in 2001, and said DNA results are expected within a "few weeks".
In late June, a group of alpinists discovered human remains and parts of skis on the same glacier. The remains have not been identified as yet, but could be decades old, according to police.
"It is rather rare that human remains and an entire corpse are found on a glacier within such a short period of time," Tyrol police spokesman Christian Viehweider told AFP.
Schlatenkees was the Austrian glacier with the biggest recorded loss of 89.5 metres during the 2021/2022 reporting period, according to the Austrian Alpine Club's annual report.
In July, climbers on the Theodul glacier in southern Switzerland found the remains of an alpinist who had disappeared in 1986.