Missing Climber's Frozen Body Found 32 Years Later

Patrice Hyvert disappeared on Mont Blanc in 1982 when he was just 23

By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 11, 2014 7:57 AM CDT | Updated Jul 13, 2014 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Some 32 years after he went missing, the body of aspiring mountain guide Patrice Hyvert has been found, frozen, on a glacier in the Mont Blanc range. Just 23 at the time he vanished during a solo climb of one of the Mont Blanc massif's main peaks, Hyvert was found earlier this month on the Talefre glacier with his gear (including his skis) and his wallet (including his ID) still intact, reports the Guardian. In spite of the resolution, not everyone is rejoicing. "I'm a mountain man, and I would have preferred him to stay up there," Hyvert's father, now 82, told RTL radio. "He was better on a mountain than in a coffin." And the French climber's body will be returned to that mountain: The family plans to return to the glacier and scatter his ashes there.

Scores of climbers die every year on the range's dangerous and highly technical terrain, reports Reuters, though bodies are often recovered the following year when ice thaws. During Hyvert's March 2, 1982, climb, however, the weather took such a bad turn that it stranded another mountaineer and kept rescuers on hold for two days, at which point the other climber was found and flown out. Rescuers searching by air and foot found no trace of Hyvert, and no clues had emerged since, notes The Local. The working theory is that Hyvert fell into an icy crevasse, where his body was preserved for decades and "finally ejected," reports the Telegraph. (One climber in Oregon recently survived a 500-foot fall down Mt. Hood.)

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 shows the top of the Aiguille du Midi peak (3842-meters high or 12,604 feet), in the French Alps.   (AP Photo/Alexis Moro)
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