Attempts at recovery
The following day, 21 September, a further attempt at recovery failed because no helicopter was available. The same day, the landlord of the Similaun mountain refuge, Markus Pirpamer, visited the site to cover the body with a plastic sheet. The famous South Tyrolean mountaineers Hans Kammerlander and Reinhold Messner also arrived the same day to take a look at the leather clothing and the birch-bark containers. Pirpamer showed them a sketch of the axe, prompting Messner to be the first to suspect that the corpse was very old.