Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Glacier death


Long-lost climber identified from body part remains


The identity of a German climber, who went missing in canton Graubünden 53 years ago, has been established after parts of his body were discovered in the Morteratsch glacier over the course of two years.

The man was last seen alive on August 30, 1963, as he set off from the Boval hut towards the Marco e Rosa hut in the Bernina alpine range. His fate was a mystery until the glacier spewed out parts of his body more than half a century later and his identity was revealed using DNA testing.

The glacier gave up its grim contents over the course of two summers, allowing police to literally piece together the identity of the man, who was 36 years old at the time of his disappearance. Scientists at Forensic Medicine Institute of St Gallen were able to make a positive identification using DNA from the man’s family members.

Climbers regularly stumble across human remains in the glacier, located near the Bernina peak and the Swiss border with Italy. Graubünden cantonal police estimate the glacier holds the remains of up to 40 missing climbers.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

Copyright

All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.

×