The 36-year-old man, who has not been named, was living in the district of Bludenz, Austria (Image: Getty Images)
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A British man has been found frozen months after he died while seeking shelter during an Alpine hike in a mountain hut at 5,200ft, unaware it was closed for the winter.
The 36-year-old man, who has not been named, was living in the district of Bludenz, Austria where he worked as a ski instructor in the winter and in the summer as a guide.
Police said that for unknown reasons the man had been in the mountains and moved into the Sarotla-Huette mountain hut to seek food and shelter.
The hut had already been closed and was last visited on November 15, when the route was still open and before the first snow fell and the arrival of the winter tourism season.
Officers said it was unclear if the British man had been caught unexpectedly while still high in the mountains, and had decided to seek shelter there rather than trying to make it back down into the valley, or whether he had been squatting.
Officers said it was unclear if the British man had been caught unexpectedly or had been squatting at the hut
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They said that either way he had forced his way in, unaware that part of the procedure of securing the huts for the winter also involved removing the chimney and sealing it with a plate so that snow could not get inside.
This had been done on November 15 when the hut was last visited.
The man was said to have lit the fire, and died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Once the fire had died down, the inside of the hut then froze, freezing his body, which has only now been found two months later by two honorary members of the Austrian Alpine Association.
Police confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the man's death, saying he must have been unaware that the chimney had been sealed off with the metal plate.
A police spokesman said: "We believe he forced his way into the hut in order to spend the night there. We know that the body was there for some time, but the exact amount of time is part of the investigation.
"It's also unclear whether he was squatting there or had been seeking shelter overnight. We found some evidence that he had used a gas heater for a while, before then using the fire when that ran out."