Western Europe's highest mountain is giving up more of its dead as the Mont Blanc glacier shifts and retreats. In the latest grim find, a French climber on the Italian side of the peak spotted the bodies of three roped-together climbers believed to have died in 1995, AFP reports. "The glacier is constantly shifting, and we can say that the deaths occurred around 1995," an Italian Alpine rescue spokesman says. Efforts are underway to recover the bodies from the mountain, which has also been yielding the bodies of people killed in two Air India crashes decades ago.
Glaciers in the Alps have been melting at an unprecedented rate and authorities expect to find the bodies of hundreds more missing climbers in the years to come. Mont Blanc alone is believed to hold the bodies of 160 mountaineers, along with plane crash victims and people killed in World War II skirmishes. A Swiss Police spokesman tells the Guardian that it's a "great relief" to contact families "who would otherwise never know with 100% certainty whether their loved one had perished on the mountain. Finally when a corpse is discovered, you have an absolute guarantee." (In July, the bodies of a couple who vanished after going to milk their cows 75 years ago were discovered.)