A team of climbers discovered a grizzly, but fascinating, scene on Pico de Orizaba in Mexico.
The mummified remains may be the bodies of lost mountain climbers missing since a 1959 avalanche atop Mexico’s tallest peak.
The team first came across a visible head and a hand above the snow and ice. They subsequently discovered a full body and then a second body. The corpses were frozen in a macabre position, clinging to each other, close to the 18,406-foot summit.
The 1959 expedition lost three members to an avalanche, and only three survived. One survivor, 78-year-old Luis Espinoza, dug himself out of the fatal avalanche. El Universal Newspaper interviewed Espinoza, and he saw photographs of the first body recovered. He believes the bodies are from the failed 1959 expedition. The team thinks a third body is still buried, and they are currently searching for it.
Mummification of corpses can happen in extreme cold. Frigid temperatures will quickly freeze tissues and preserve some clothing. The recovery team will dig out the corpses, which will be tested for age and identity. Harsh conditions and altitudes are currently slowing down recovery efforts.
The story might be a little morbid, but we can learn some lessons from it. In cold weather environments, you must take special precautions and check your survival gear. Always be safe, and if conditions are too severe or you get injured, turn around and head back to your base camp.
All photos via NY Daily News