There is almost no hope to find the eight climbers alive who have been missing for days in the Indian Himalayas. Indian authorities announced that five bodies had been discovered by a rescue helicopter at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters. The bodies had been sighted in an area where a “huge avalanche” had gone down, it said. It was assumed that the five belonged to the missing group and that the other three climbers had also died in the area.
Group wanted to scale an unclimbed six-thousander
The group, led by the experienced 64-year-old British expedition leader Martin Moran, had set out to scale a still unclimbed 6,477-meter-high mountain, close to Nanda Devi, with an height of 7,816 meters India’s second highest mountain. Four team members who had stayed at base camp had raised the alarm on Friday after contact with the group had broken off. The climbers – four British, two Americans, one Australian, one Indian – had last reported from a camp at about 5,400 metres.
The Indian authorities claimed that the expedition only had a permit to climb the 7,434-meter-high Nanda Devi East, but not for the six-thousander, where the avalanche swept down.
Update 5 June: Moran Mountains contradicts the statement of the Indian authorities. The “permit acquired from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) covered the peak of Nanda Devi East and all peaks which could be reached from the Base Camp for Nanda Devi East, peak 6477 being one of these,” it said.