When Erika and Helmut Simon began their hike into the Ötztal Alps, little did they know it would be a life-changing day. The mountain-lovers were just beginning the final part of their trek from Fineilspitze to the Similaun hut when they made a haunting discovery. Taking a shortcut from the Tisenjoch pass in September 1991, the tourists stumbled upon the head and shoulders of a human corpse poking out of a rocky gully at an elevation of more than 3,200 metres. His left arm was twisted under his body, and skin still covered his bones.
They believed it was a recently deceased mountaineer, as did the Austrian authorities, but they couldn’t have been further from the truth.