In the Tyrol region of the Alps – the same region where Reinhold Messner is from – the remains of a climber that went missing from the town of Matrei in 1957 was found.
The report from the Associated Press gives limited detail, but the remains were likely discharged from the glacier it was found near. Only bones and a hiking boot were found.
Such discoveries are made occasionally at the edge of glacier. Glaciers move at their own slow rate, advancing somewhere around six to twenty inches per day. Some people like to refer to them as frozen rivers, though that description is imprecise, it illustrates that it is not static. Airplanes that have crashed on mountains have vanished completely, presumably being covered in fresh snow, or buried in avalanches and slowly joining the glacier. Parts of the plane and its contents may show up decades later.
Presumably, this missing climber from Matrei either fell to his death or stumbled into a crevasse. This is the dark, tragic and lonely part of our sport.
Rest in peace, climber.
Source: “Remains of Mountain Climber Found After 54 Years,” Associated Press, August 12, 2011.