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  1. ITV Report

Bodies of seven mountaineers missing in Himalayas recovered as search continues for eighth

Not all of the Nanda were killed, some stayed at base camp and did not take part in the ascent which resulted in the deaths. Credit: Moran Mountain Facebook

Indian soldiers have reached the bodies of seven of eight members from a team of international climbers, including a group of Britons, believed killed on a notoriously dangerous Himalayan mountain.

Administrator of Uttarakhand state, Vijay Jogdande, said the soldiers reached the bodies on Sunday, but they had yet to be identified.

The bodies will now be brought from where they were found at an altitude of more than 5,000 metres to the base camp.

Veteran British mountaineer Martin Moran led a team who included John McLaren, Rupert Whewell and University of York lecturer Richard Payne from the UK; US nationals Anthony Sudekum and Ronald Beimel; Australian Ruth McCance; and Indian guide Chetan Pandey.

The Indo Tibetan Mountain Police said the bodies of Ms McCance and Mr Pandey were among those recovered.

The group were attempting to reach the top of an unclimbed 6,477-metre peak in a remote area on Nanda Devi East.

Mr Moran’s Scotland-based company said contact with the team was lost on May 26 following an avalanche, and they failed to return to base camp as expected on May 31.

Officials said they were all presumed dead.

Martin Moran was leading the expedition on Nanda Devi. Credit: Moran Mountain Facebook

Five bodies believed to be from the missing team were spotted by air nearly two weeks ago.

Ground expeditions by the Indian paramilitary forces and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation were launched after helicopter missions failed to reach the area.

The search for the missing eighth mountaineer will continue, Mr Jogdande said.

Not all of the team who set off on the expedition took part in the fatal climb.

Four British climbers rescued from base camp.

Their information helped to locate the bodies of the missing climbers.

The rescued team members include Mark Thomas, 44, along with Zachary Quain, 32, Kate Armstone, 39, and Ian Wade, 45.

HS Chauhan, president of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, said authorities would decide on an air evacuation of the bodies depending on weather conditions.

Ground expeditions also are in the area for the task.

Nanda Devi is a notoriously dangerous mountain in India. Credit: ITV News

Mr Moran had been a mountain guide since 1985 and set up his company – Moran Mountain, based in Strathcarron in the Scottish Highlands – with his wife Joy, while their grown-up children, Hazel and Alex, also work for the business.

In an earlier statement, the Moran family said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic events unfolding in the Nanda Devi region of the Indian Himalayas.”

Academic Richard Payne, from the University of York, is believed to be among the missing climbers.

Nanda Devi is in the Indian Himalayas. Credit: PA