Climbers on Pico de Orizaba last week inadvertently discovered the remains of two people buried under the snow, the Guardian reports. Locals believe the bodies are of two men from the central city of Puebla who took part in a seven-person attempt to scale Orizaba in 1959; four members died in an avalanche, and three were lost and never found.
Pico de Orizaba is an 18,491-foot-high volcano considered to be Mexico’s highest mountain.
Luis Espinoza, part of the 55-year-old mountaineering team, says he lost his friends when the team attempted to cross a six-foot-wide crevasse a few hundred yards from the summit. The avalanche came suddenly, and for five minutes the group was enveloped in a wave of ice that pushed Espinoza 1,150 feet. Scrambling through the snow, Espinoza discovered two other survivors, Marco Antonio Fernández and Darío Huesca. The three spent several minutes yelling for their companions. They soon saw the hand of Alberto Rodriguez sticking through the snow and quickly confirmed he had died.
“I felt sad, very sad,” Espinoza told the Mexican newspaper El Universal when describing the ordeal. He also expressed elation at the possibility that his companions’ bodies might finally have been found.
“I will no longer have this in my head,” he said. “I’ll be at peace if they are.”
Following the news of the bodies’ discovery, local mountain rescue team members have attempted to recover the bodies and perhaps find the third missing person. Unfavorable weather forced them to abandon their most recent effort.