Indian team treks to find missing climbers on Himalayan slope

2019-06-11 06:06
(Prakash Mathema, AFP)

(Prakash Mathema, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Indian mountaineers on Monday began a dangerous trek toward an isolated Himalayan slope in a bid to find the bodies of eight climbers feared killed by an avalanche.

An Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF) official said the team had a rough idea of where the four Britons, two Americans, one Indian and one Australian were on Nanda Devi, India's second highest mountain.

But they could take four days to reach the mountain's eastern slope where the bodies are believed to be at a height of about 5000 metres.

Military helicopters last week spotted five bodies in the snow, but attempts to drop troops by air to retrieve them were aborted due to turbulent winds and the risk of further avalanches on the difficult terrain.

A ground team was now attempting a treacherous trekking route.

"The objective is to determine the location of the bodies and see if it's possible to bring them back," said Maninder Kohli, a member of the IMF.

He said the retrieval operation was fraught with risks.

"The ground team will first make an assessment and see if the bodies can be moved to a flat surface where helicopters can land," he said.

"If there is a risk to life in bringing back the bodies, mountain burials for the bodies can be considered."

Kohli said it would take "about three to four days" for the team to reach the site, but the window of opportunity was closing and the team had about 10 days in total before the scheduled arrival of monsoon rains.

The eight climbers were part of a 12-strong expedition, but four Britons were rescued after breaking away.

The main group, which was led by experienced British mountaineer Martin Moran, had permission only to climb the eastern peak of Nanda Devi.

But a Facebook post by Moran's mountaineering firm on May 22 said that they planned to attempt "an unclimbed peak" around 6500 metres high.

The two groups last communicated on May 26, a day before heavy snow fell and massive avalanches started.

The eight climbers have been named as John McLaren, Rupert Whewell and University of York lecturer Richard Payne from Britain, US nationals Anthony Sudekum and Ronald Beimel, Australian Ruth McCance and Indian guide Chetan Pandey.

Read more on:    india
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.