A climber missing for 32 years has now been found, but it was not a happy outcome for the family. Patrice Hyvert’s body was found preserved in ice in the Mont Blanc range of the Alps. Two mountain climbers found Hyvert a few days ago.
According to Reuters, the climber went missing 32 years ago, on March 1, 1982, when he left for a solitary climb. He had been training to be a guide, and he had decided to climb up the Aiguille Verte mountain. Bad weather set in that afternoon, and Hyvert never made it back. Local police have confirmed that the body found is that of Hyvert’s, noting that there was an identity card in the man’s wallet.
Patrick Hyvert’s father, 82-year-old Gerard, says that he is a mountain man and “I would have preferred him to stay up there.” He adds, “He was better on a mountain than in a coffin. He was in his element.” It is not unusual for climbers to go missing in the area, or to be trapped and found later during ice thaws. Finding a climber missing for 32 years like this, however, is an unusual situation.
The Telegraph notes that mountaineer Jean-Marc Boivin had gotten trapped in the bad weather in the area the same day as Hyvert, and he was rescued two days later. An intense search using helicopters and mountain rescue services tried to find Hyvert, but they were unable to uncover any sign of him. Continued bad weather significantly hampered their efforts. Patrice’s father says, “We think he reached the summit in bad weather then chose to go back down on another face, via the Whymper corridor.”
It is suspected that the missing climber fell due to visibility issues and was trapped in a crevasse. Reports indicate that about 130 climbers have gone missing in the Mont Blanc area since 1950, though they usually are recovered in a more timely fashion than the climber missing 32 years. Mountain climber deaths or disappearances are all too common in the adventure sport, and there had been a desperate rescue effort underway in a Mount Rainier incident recently as well, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
As The Local reports, this week there have been two other climbers go missing in the Mont Blanc area. Once again, bad weather has hampered the efforts to find the two men. The search continues as the families hold vigil hoping that the climbers can be found safe and alive. Though many can understand the sentiments of Patrice Hyvert’s father in wishing his son had been left on the mountain, few families want to face the unknown such as a climber missing for 32 years.
[Image via the Telegraph]