The search and rescue team of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) continued their operation to find the body of one climber from Nanda Devi area in Pithoragarh on Monday. The team managed to find seven bodies of the missing climbers from the UK, USA, India and Australia on Sunday. Despite bad weather, the ITBP team continued the effort to trace the body of the eighth member of the group which went missing in Nanda Devi about one month back.
The seven bodies recovered so far are presently at a temporary camp located at an altitude of 17,800 feet, and the process of ferrying them to camp-2 will start soon. From camp-2 the bodies will be airlifted to Pithoragarh where the postmortem will be conducted.
Pithoragarh district magistrate Vijay Kumar Jogdande said, “The ITBP team, led by Ratan Singh Sonal, has done a commendable job. Despite adverse weather and challenging conditions, the team was successful in retrieving seven bodies from the snow. The bodies will be airlifted in 2-3 days.”
A group of adventure lovers, led by British mountaineering expert Martin Moran, was missing since 27/28 May. The team was to scale an unnamed peak in Nanda Devi. Martin Moran, John McLaren, Rupert Whewell, Richard Payne, Anthony Sudekum, Ronald Beimel, Ruth McCance and Chetan Pandey remain missing. The Indian Air Force (IAF) team conducted an aerial survey of Nanda Devi area and found five dead bodies lying in a glacier.
Considering the tough terrain and challenging situation, a 32-member team of Indo Tibetan Border Police was dispatched for the special operation to retrieve the bodies of the missing climbers from Pithoragarh on 15 June.
Successfully executing the operation in the high altitude area, facing harsh weather, the team retrieved seven of the total eight bodies. The special operation is likely to conclude in next two-three days.