Bodies of two British climbers recovered from the Matterhorn


The bodies of two British climbers have been recovered from the Matterhorn in the Alps after they went missing in bad weather.

The two men sent out an alert on Friday when they got caught on the mountain as storms came in and temperatures plummeted.

Rescuers were unable to reach them because of high winds but finally located the pair on Saturday morning, Italian mountain rescue said.

The men's bodies were found on rocks buried in snow and have been recovered.

A member of the Italian mountain rescue suggested the pair had been poorly equipped and wearing light clothing when they got caught as the weather changed.

He told the Press Association: "We have had a rapid change in the weather. On Thursday afternoon and overnight into Friday we had a lot of storms with snows in the high altitudes, and rapid falls in temperature."

The man said the pair had been climbing the 4,478m (14,691ft) mountain, which straddles the border between Switzerland and Italy, from the Italian side and were on the Cresta del Leone, a rocky ridge and the regular route up from the south.

They alerted authorities on Friday, he said, but rescue efforts were hampered by bad weather.

A mountain rescue team from Cervinia reached them on Saturday morning and their bodies were helicoptered off the mountain back to the resort.

The identities and ages of the dead mountaineers have not yet been released.

The mountain rescue spokesman said two Russian climbers were also stranded in the bad weather but for a longer period of time, and he suggested they may have been better equipped than the British pair.

The man said: "Perhaps with the right equipment it is possible to survive on the Matterhorn."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm the death of two British nationals in Mount Cervino (the Matterhorn), Italy and we are in touch with local authorities."