The remains of two missing Matterhorn climbers were identified by local authorities almost 45 years after they were first reported missing, Scripps Media reported this week.
The report claims the two young Japanese climbers, Masayuki Kobayashi and Michio Oikawa, were first discovered in September 2014 by someone scaling the Matterhorn at an elevation of around 9,200 feet. Those remains were then sent off for analysis and DNA comparison before determining they belonged to 21-year-old Kobayashi and 22-year-old Oikawa.
The two Matterhorn climbers first went missing on August 18, 1970. Police spokesman Stephane Vouardoux explained the men weren’t expecting the weather they received at the time of their deaths, the Huffington Post is reporting.
“They had spent the night before in a hut because they wanted to ascend the north face of the Matterhorn. They were probably surprised by a snow storm when they disappeared.”
It wasn’t until Thursday, August 6 that the remains were publicly identified, according to CTV News. While police in the region keep a log of all Matterhorn climbers reported missing since 1925, the Japanese Consulate in Geneva was needed to assist with finding relatives of the missing men.
This isn’t an isolated incident. The remains of missing Matterhorn climbers are resurfacing as the glaciers holding these icy tombs begin to thaw from warming temperatures in the region. According to the Washington Post, a police statement issued by the Switzerland authorities confirmed this is happening more frequently as more than 30 climbers remain missing.
“More and more regularly, the receding of glaciers permits the discovery of missing climbers after dozens of years.”
According to NewsMax, several remains have been found and identified in the past few years out of the more than 500 Matterhorn climbers to have perished. In 2013, two climbers were discovered: a Czech climber from 40 years previously and a British man who went missing in 1979.
The report also said that the remains of a prehistoric human were uncovered. The man was known as the “Ice Man” after being uncovered in 1991 and was reportedly 5,300-years-old at the time of the discovery.
Matterhorn climbers have long scaled the mountain to take in the majestic beauty of the region. Recently, climbers tweeted these pictures from the summit after a successful attempt to scale the Matterhorn.
The Matterhorn isn’t the only famous mountain with a trail of dead bodies. According to the Washington Post, Mount Everest has a portion of the climb dubbed the “death zone” as more than 200 corpses lay unclaimed in this region. Decomposing remains have also been found in Russia’s Yukon region, McClatchy reported.
[Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]