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Third Missing Climber Found Dead on Mexico’s Highest Peak

The 57-year-old from Guadalajara is the third and final confirmed death of a group of 12 climbers caught in bad weather earlier this month.

pico de orizaba, mexicoPico de Drizaba, a dormant volcano, is the highest mountain in Mexico; (photo/Shutterstock)
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The original version of this article was published on ExplorersWeb.

Search patrols have found the body of a climber missing on Mexico’s Pico de Orizaba since Feb. 17, federal officials reported Tuesday.

Known only as Jose Luis N., the missing climber is the third death in a group of 12 people stranded by bad weather on Mexico’s highest peak earlier this month. Authorities found the body of the 57-year-old from Guadalajara on Tuesday on the south face of the mountain at about 16,100 feet, Mexico’s Civil Protection office in Puebla announced on X.

On Feb. 22, searchers had found the climber’s cellphone but continued to search for the body. Mexican officials reported that several regional organizations had been searching the mountain nonstop, mainly on foot and with drones.

Mexico’s El Pais reported that the climbers had ventured up the south side of the 18,490-foot mountain despite forecasts for bad weather. Somehow, the group lost its way above 16,400 feet. Much of the group managed to reach help at the bottom of the volcano, with several of them showing symptoms of hypothermia, dehydration, and injuries, the newspaper said.

The climbers who made it back down raised the alarm about their missing comrades. Searchers found the body of one of them, Jessica N., the following day at about 17,000 feet. A day later, they also found the body of the group’s guide, Luis Flores. The search was complicated because the group planned to descend via the north side of Orizaba, so search patrols had to scour the entire mountain.

Ascending Pico de Orizaba, also known as Citlaltépetl, involves no technical difficulty in good conditions, although the final, steep ramps can be dangerous if covered in hard snow or ice.

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