A team of Indian mountaineers has launched a ground expedition on the Himalayan mountain to retrieve the bodies of five people believed to be part of a missing group of eight international climbers which includes four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian. However, officials have reported that the helicopter search “would not be possible” due to bad weather conditions.
According to Martin Moran’s Scotland-based company, the climbers had set out almost a month ago on May 13, and contact with a separate trekking team at base camp was lost May 26 following an avalanche. All eight missing climbers are feared to be dead. Last week, military helicopters tried several times to drop mountaineers down to where the bodies had been spotted at an altitude of about 5,000 metres (16,400ft), but high winds made it impossible to get close enough.
However, reports emerged earlier this week where the Uttarakhand state magistrate Vijay Jogdande, of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation stated a possibility of launching a ground expedition to Nanda Devi, East to help evacuate the bodies, which have been spotted at an altitude of 5,000 metres (16,404ft). The foundation had earlier complained that it had been waiting for the permission of state authorities to carry out the retrieval for the past three days. It added that its team of highly experienced mountaineers was standing by to move, while it had a window of 15-20 days to complete the operation before monsoon rains arrive.