Japanese climber found dead in Swiss Alps

GENEVA (AFP) - The body of a Japanese climber was found in the Swiss Alps but his climbing partner was still missing three days after the pair got into difficulty on the Matterhorn, police said Tuesday.

The two mountaineers had on Saturday scaled the 4,478m Matterhorn, whose pyramidal shape makes it one of the world's most recognisable mountains.

During their descent, they were caught off guard by bad weather and tried to return to the Solvay hut, which lies at 4,003m, but were unsuccessful, police in Valais canton said.

A Polish mountaineer who glimpsed one of the climbers on Sunday raised the alarm but the mountain rescue service was unable to reach the site until Monday due to bad weather.

The search for the second climber is still under way, police said.

The Matterhorn, which lies on the border of Switzerland and Italy, is one of the highest peaks in Europe and attracts around 3,000 climbers per year.

Since its was first ascended in 1865, some 500 climbers have lost their lives trying to get to the top.