A mummified frozen body resurfaced from a glacier on the Pico de Orizaba volcano, the highest mountain in Mexico, on February 28, 2015. A week later, Mexican officials stated that climbers found a second mummified body. Both bodies were covered by snow and glacier ice, and appeared to be decades old. Rescuers suspected that another mummified body might be found, since three people were reported missing during an avalanche decades ago.
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Luis Espinosa, a retired mountaineer told Fox News, “based on the location of where the first photo was taken I thought, looking at the place, there is no doubt, it has to be them.” Espinosa, a survivor of the doomed expedition in 1959 in which one climber died and three fellow climbers disappeared including the guide, Enrique Garcia, believes that these two mummified bodies discovered two weeks ago are the remains of his missing fellow climbers. “ We expected the bodies to surface in 20 years. We did a great number of expeditions, always trying to find our comrades,” he added.
According to the Mexican federal interior department, a multi-agency team will climb up the Pico de Orizaba volcano to recover the mummified bodies to determine their age and identity. Their expedition will adjust to the weather conditions. “It is a very difficult area where people normally don’t go,” said Juan Navarro, mayor of the town of Chalchicomula de Sesama during a press release, “It is an area where there is only snow and no route.”
The Pico de Orizaba volcano, which rises 5636 meters above the sea level, is ranked after Mount McKinley of the United States and Mount Logan of Canada as the third highest peak on the continent of North America. It is currently dormant, and its last eruption took place during the 19th century. Gran Glacier Norte, the largest glacier in Mexico, is located on this volcano along with other eight known glaciers. Snow that sits on the south and southeast sides of the volcano melts more rapidly as a result of intense solar radiation. The colder temperatures on the north and northwest sides support allows the formation of outlet glaciers, which are tongue-like channels of ice that flow out of the ice cap on the summit.