The mountain stands on the border of France and Italy’s Val d’Aosta region. Courmayeur, the closest town on the Italian side of the mountain, is a popular destination for skiers, snowboarders and hikers.
According to an initial analysis, the body likely belongs to a hiker who lost their way in the mid-1980s. The backpack and ice picks sport a French brand dating back to this era.
The remains were air-lifted out with a helicopter at an altitude of 1700m and were brought to a cemetery in Courmayeur. Both Italian and French authorities are collaborating to identify the body by searching lists of missing persons from the mid-1980s.
Marshall Delfino Viglione from the Alpine rescue squad believes “findings like this are increasing” with the progression of climate change.
All the glaciers on Mount Bianco are currently receding and have altered some hiking paths. In recent years, routes have been closed for danger of falling rocks, with some mountaineers having to be rescued by helicopter.