• France's news in English

Missing French climber's body found on Mont Blanc 32 years later

Joshua Melvin · 8 Jul 2014, 13:32

Published: 08 Jul 2014 13:32 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The family of a French climber who disappeared in the winter of 1982 finally have some closure over three decades later.

A group of climbers in the Alps were scaling the Talèfre glacier on the Mont Blanc massif, the tallest mountain in Europe, when they stumbled upon a body sticking out of the ice on Thursday.

They contacted local police, who quickly identified the dead man as Patrice Hyvert, a 23-year-old alpinist who went missing while climbing in the area in March 1982.

Hyvert had set out alone to scale the 4,100-metre Nant-blanc peak but around 4pm nasty weather rolled in and dumped a blanket of snow on the mountain. Another climber, Jean-Marc Bovin, happened to also be on the mountain that day.

After being airlifted out two days after the storm Bovin called Hyvert’s father to tell him: “It was really bad up there,” French paper Le Dauphiné reported. The nasty weather kept rescue crews at bay for two more days.

When rescuers finally flew up the mountain they found no trace of Hyvert in the fresh snow and a subsequent mission on foot was also fruitless. In the intervening decades no new clues surfaced, until last week.

“We think he made it to the summit in the bad weather and that he decided to descend via another route,” Hyvert’s father told Le Dauphiné. But what happened next is and probably will remain a mystery.

Another two families were keeping a similarly tragic vigil on Tuesday after two climbers, one in his 30s, the other in his 40s, disappeared on Sunday on Mont Blanc. They were crossing the Les Courtes portion of the mountain when they vanished, French daily Le Parisien reported.

Story continues below…

Rescuers used a helicopter to search for the missing men, but came up empty-handed and have since had their efforts hampered by bad weather. They search will resume when the weather clears.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France’s 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

French FM calls for end to Aleppo 'massacre'
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says the international community cannot ‘come to a negotiation under the bombs’. Photo: Dominick Reuter / AFP file picture

France's foreign minister urged the international community to "do everything" to end the "massacre" in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday after fighting resumed following a 72-hour truce declared by Damascus ally Russia.

French cheer police, reviving Charlie spirit
French police officers on Saturday demonstrated for the fifth night in a row to protest mounting attacks on officers. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

Angry French police have taken to the streets for five nights in a row -- and Parisians have started to cheer them on, reviving scenes last seen following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015.

Scarlett Johansson turns popcorn girl in Paris
US actress Scarlett Johansson greets customers at the Yummy Pop gourmet popcorn shop in the Marais district of Paris. Photo: Benjamin Cremel / AFP

Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson swapped the red carpet for a turn behind the counter at her new popcorn shop in Paris on Saturday.

US couple donates huge art collection to Paris
Marlene (centre) and Spencer (right) are donating their collection ‘for the benefit of art lovers’. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

A Texan couple who discovered their love for art during a trip to Paris in the 1970s are to donate the multi-million dollar collection they have amassed since to the French capital.

France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available