Body of Skier Missing Since 1980 Found in the Swiss Alps

SnowBrains |

Gregory Barnes was 24-years-old when he went missing in the year 1980 in the Italian and Swiss Alps.  He simply disappeared without a trace. Nothing of his whereabouts have bee known until this week. Greg was originally from Toronto, Canada.

Sonja Barnes, Gregory’s sister, got a phone call from Italian officials this week who explained that they had discovered Gregory’s body.  Above average summer temperatures in the Alps lead to glacier melting that lead to Greg’s body melting out of an alpine glacier.  He was found in a crevasse along with his passport confirming his identity.

Greg Barnes and the area he was found.
Greg Barnes and the area he was found.

The news is, of course, sad, but it has brought powerful closure to Sonja after 35 years of not knowing what happened to her brother.

“It’s been a bit of a mystery.  I hung onto hope for an awfully long time because there was no body, there was no trace.” – Sonja Barnes told the CBC this week

Greg Barnes was an avid outdoorsman and was working in 1980 in Germany for AES Data, a Canadian word-processing company.The day he disappeared in 1980, Greg was climbing to the top of a peak in the Bernina mountain range of the Alps with a group of skiers when he had trouble with his bindings and returned to the hut to fix the issue. After the fix, he was rushing to catch up to the group, fell into a deep crevasse, and perished. Italian and Swiss search and rescue teams thoroughly searched the area but were unable to find Greg.

“He should have known better.  But he’s gone and he’s been gone for 35 years, and now I have total peace of knowing that … there’s no longer any room for doubt.” – Sonja Barnes

Gregory Barnes remains will be returned to Canada this week.

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