A boot that belonged to a German climber
A boot that belonged to a German climber who disappeared while hiking along Switzerland's Theodul Glacier in 1986 is pictured in Zermatt, Switzerland. Image Credit: Valais Cantonal Police/via REUTERS

Geneva: The remains of a German climber who has been missing since 1986 have been recovered on a glacier in the Swiss Alps, the Valais canton police said on Thursday.

Climate change has accelerated the melting of glaciers, with the retreating ice releasing bodies of alpinists it has held for years, often decades.

On July 12, climbers found human remains and several pieces of equipment on the Theodule glacier, in southern Switzerland.

The remains were transported to a hospital and "DNA comparisons allowed to establish that this was an alpinist who had disappeared in September 1986," the police said in a statement.

Then 38 years old, the man went missing after failing to return from a climb. A search undertaken at the time was unsuccessful.