“Two French mountaineers found human bones while scaling the Chessjen glacier in the southern Swiss canton of Valais last Wednesday,” a police spokesman confirmed on Monday. A helicopter lifted the skeleton from the glacier the same day. “The remains were found by climbers near an old path that had been disused about ten years ago,” said Dario Andenmatten, manager of the Britannia mountain lodge, where many climbers start their ascents. The two hikers probably made their discovery only because they were relying on an old map.
“The man died sometime in the 1970s or 1980s,” Andenmatten said, adding that little remained of the body. A week earlier, the Stockji glacier, located near the popular resort of Zermatt northwest of the Matterhorn, released another human body. In both cases, Valais police said the process of identifying the human remains through DNA analysis is still ongoing and will take several more days.
Found after 54 years. Melting glaciers have revealed the wreckage of a crashed plane
The police in the Alpine region currently maintain a list of approximately three hundred cases of missing persons since 1925. For example, the millionaire from the Tengelmann supermarket chain figures in it Karl-Erivan Haub, who went missing in the Zermatt area while training for a ski tour on April 7, 2018. He was pronounced dead in 2021. Shortly after the discovery of the bodies, the German media linked the remains discovered on the Stockji glacier to him.
However, one of the two tourists who discovered the body told the Blick newspaper that the clothing found was neon-colored, in the style of the 1980s. “The corpse was mummified and slightly damaged, but almost complete,” 55-year-old Luc Lechanoine told reporters.
In the first week of August, mountain guide Dominik Nellen discovered it again plane wreckage, which collapsed on top of the Aletsch Glacier near the Jungfrau and Mönch peaks in June 1968. “From afar, I thought I was looking at two backpacks,” testified the 38-year-old mountaineer. However, upon closer inspection, it turned out to be pieces of the wreckage of a Piper Cherokee plane that crashed in the area on June 30, 1968. On board was a teacher, a doctor and his son, all from Zurich. Rescuers found the bodies, but not the wreckage of the plane.
After a winter with relatively little snowfall, the Swiss Alps have already experienced two big summer heat waves. In July, authorities advised climbers against climbing the Matterhorn due to unusually high temperatures, which reached nearly 30°C in Zermatt.