Expedition set to recover frozen mummified bodies on Mexico’s highest mountain

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    A mummified frozen body sticks out from the snow in a glacier on the Pico de Orizaba volcano, Mexico’s tallest peak. (AP)

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    Mountaineer Luis Espinosa shows Gerardo Reyes a photo of an old expedition in Puebla, Mexico, March 10, 2015. (AP)

Fifty-six years after surviving an avalanche on Mexico’s highest mountain, Luis Espinosa may finally be able to say goodbye to his lost comrades.

Mexican officials say they will mount a joint state, federal and municipal effort to recover the mummified bodies of two climbers from the Pico de Orizaba volcano, in the state of Puebla.

The federal Interior Department said the multi-agency team will wait for clear weather to ascend it.

The department warned volunteers not to risk their safety on the steeply inclined mountain face where the two bodies were found last week.

The two bodies are encased in ice and snow near the peak of 18,406-foot volcano and appear decades old.

A survivor of a 1959 avalanche in which three fellow climbers disapeared said Tuesday he’s sure the bodies are those of his colleagues.

Espinosa, 78, said Friday that the bodies’ location matches where the climbers were lost.

“Based on the location of where the first photo was taken I thought, ‘looking at the place, there is no doubt, it has to be them’,” Espinosa said.

“We expected the bodies to surface in 20 years,” Espinosa said. “We did a great number of expeditions, always trying to find our comrades.”

A third body may be found because three were reported missing in the avalanche.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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