Body of famous British mountaineer still missing

Wednesday 10th July 2019 06:54 EDT

Noted British mountaineer Martin Moran, who led the 8-member team on its ill-fated expedition to the Nanda Devi East peak in May, was identified as the only person whose body is yet to be recovered by the rescue personnel. Nainital district magistrate Savin Bansal said that the identification of the seven bodies recovered from the western ridge of the peak was completed on Saturday. The others were identified as John Charles McLaren, Richard Payne and Rupert James Whewell from Britain, Anthony Edward Sudekum and Ronald Isaac Beimel from the US and Ruth Margaret Mc Cance, the lone woman mountaineer from Australia and liaison officer Chetan Pandey from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation.

Representatives of the British high commission and family members of McCance were expected to collect the bodies. Sources said that the bodies of the US citizens have been placed in the mortuary.

Bodies brought to Uttarakhand's Munsyari

Earlier, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) airlifted the bodies of seven climbers to lower ground for identification. The body of British mountaineer Martin Moran was not found. Nanda Devi and its sister mountain, Nanda Devi East, are among the world's most challenging peaks and only a handful of people have climbed them.

Martin Moran

Highlands-based Martin Moran led the 8-member team on its ill-fated expedition to the Nanda Devi East peak in May. British Mountain Guides (BMG) said the body of Tyneside-born Moran was still unaccounted for. BMG - a national body representing the interests of mountain guides working in the some of the world's highest mountains, paid trbutes to Moran. His name is legendary in UK climbing circles. He graduated in geography at Cambridge University before studying and qualifying as a chartered accountant.

But the outdoors, and in particular mountains, were his passion. In the winter of 1984 Moran and his wife Joy made the first completion of all Munros - more than 280 Scottish mountains with a height of 914m (3,000ft) or more - in a single winter season.

Himalayan expeditions

The Morans moved to Lochcarron, a small community in Wester Ross in the north west Highlands, and established their adventure holiday business, Moran Mountain. Moran's reputation as a mountaineer has also grown over the years. In 1993, he and fellow climber Simon Jenkins climbed 75 4,000m (13,123ft) Alpine peaks in 52 days. The men cycled between the different ranges involved, rather than using motorised transport. making it the first self-propelled traverse of Alpine peaks of 4,000m.

The previous year, the Morans' business started offering guided Himalayan expeditions. Since then, the company has run more than 40 treks and climbs in the Indian Himalayas. The business then offered climbing courses in Norway and Arctic mountaineering in 2005.

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