His trip took him from one valley to another. Rather than hiking through the lower elevations, he decided to take a shortcut and climb over a mountain, perhaps reaching the next valley before sunset. He hiked up Finail Peak, but never made it down the other side. Was he too weak to continue? Was he caught in a late spring storm? Was he murdered?
His body was found at 3,210m (10,532 ft) on a sunny day in 1991. Two German hikers left a trail, taking a shortcut. The hikers stumbled upon the victim, faced down and halfway covered with ice and meltwater. They reported their horrible find to the authorities. The couple felt sorry for the person who must have been caught in a recent snowstorm and died of exposure.
The authorities arrived at the site the next day to investigate and retrieve the body, but their investigation was cut short because of bad weather. Poor weather impeded the recovery effort for four days. The body was finally recovered with the help of staff from the Innsbruck University Institute of Forensic Medicine. The backpacker was found to be approximately 5,300 years old. This victim’s name would not appear on the Gendarmerie list of missing persons.
The first alpine backpacker was found in the Ötztal Alps. Scientists named him Ötzi.
Near Ötzi was his backpacking gear. Let’s take a look at backpacking in 3300 B.C. Today’s 10 Essentials of hiking and camping have been adopted by many.