Mountaineers Discover Body of Skier Missing 53-Years

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Aerial view of the Mortaratschgletscher glacier, right, above Pontresina Switzerland, pictured Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Above see Piz Bernina. (KEYSTONE/Alessandro Della Bella)
Aerial view of the Mortaratschgletscher glacier, right, above Pontresina Switzerland, pictured Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Above see Piz Bernina. (KEYSTONE/Alessandro Della Bella)

53 years ago a 36-year-old German skier disappeared without a trace in the Swiss Alps.  He was last seen on August 30th, 1963 after leaving the Boval hut to ski to the Marco e Rosa hut in the “labyrinth” at an altitude of 10,500′.

His remains were discovered by mountaineers over the past two summer on the Morteratsch glacier in the Bernina region of the Swiss canton of Graubünden.

Mountaineers discovered the remains and specialists were brought in to extract the remains.

Morteratsch glacier
Morteratsch glacier

The DNA of the missing skier was analyzed by the Forensic Medicine team in St. Gallen. Using DNA comparison with relatives could the dead be identified.

The remains were discovered on the Morteratsch glacier in the canton of Graubünden over the past two summers.

Map showing location of Morteratsch glacier.
Map showing location of Morteratsch glacier.

When the Institute of Forensic Medicine in St. Gallen DNA analyzes were performed. Using DNA comparison with relatives the body was positively identified as the skier missing sine 1963.  We hope that this discovery has brought closure to his family.

Over 40 people are still missing in the Bernina region of Switzerland.

Many missing climbers and skiers have been found in Switzerland in recent years as alpine glaciers melt and reveal human remains.

Morteratsch glacier retreat.
Morteratsch glacier retreat.

Last summer the remains of 2 Japanese climbers, missing since 1970, were found at the base of the Matterhorn.

In 2014, the body of a Czech hiker, missing since 1974 was found in the Bernese Alps.

 

If you find human remains in Switzerland, the police as, you to not touch the remains, photograph them, note your exact location, and inform local police.

Looking down on the Vadret da Morteratsch (Morteratsch Glacier) from just below the Chamanna Boval hut (2495m). In the background: Piz d'Arlas (3375m), Piz Cambrena (3606m), Piz Palü (3901m), Bellavista (3922m) and Piz Zupò (3996m)
Looking down on the Vadret da Morteratsch (Morteratsch Glacier) from just below the Chamanna Boval hut (2495m). In the background: Piz d’Arlas (3375m), Piz Cambrena (3606m), Piz Palü (3901m), Bellavista (3922m) and Piz Zupò (3996m)

POLICE REPORT TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH BY GOOGLE:

Pontresina: identifies body of a missing alpinists

The Graubünden cantonal police has thanks to hints of mountaineers in the last and penultimate summer salvaged several body parts in the Bernina region. The articles, which were in the body parts were first compared with the old missing person files. This fit to the data on a missing person from the year 1963. When the Institute of Forensic Medicine in St. Gallen DNA analyzes were performed. Using DNA comparison with relatives could the dead be identified.

The 36-year-old mountaineer from Germany had on August 30, 1963 at 7 o’clock in the morning leave the Boval hut to ascend on skis for Marco e Rosa hut. He was last time seen above the “labyrinth” at an altitude of 3,200 meters above sea level. Since then, the man was missing. In the summer of 2014 and 2015, specialists of the alpine squad and the Forensic Service went to Morteratschgletscher to recover discovered by climbers body parts. After more than 50 years of missing persons has been released from the ice 3.5 kilometers from Verschwindepunkt.

Finds in glacial Report
repeatedly creates the ice body parts and objects of missing climbers on the glacier surface.Overall apply in the Bernina area forty people missing. If one finds on a high tour equipment or human body parts, the following applies:

  • Do not touch objects possible
  • photographing objects
  • Mark reference, for example, with a Steinmannli
  • note coordinates
  • Report Fund takes the Grisons cantonal police
  • Objects only to immediate threats and if the location can not be found again, mountains and proposed the nearest police station
Morteratsch glacier on the right.
Morteratsch glacier on the right.

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