An Mi-17 chopper of the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted survey of the Nanda Devi base camp 1 and 2 in district Pithoragarh on Friday.

A 32-member team of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) reached Nanda Devi base camp 1 today. In a move to speed up the search and rescue operation, the Mi-17 will drop the ITBP team near the site on Saturday, where the bodies of five climbers were spotted recently.

The rescue teams, with different roles, are stationed in Pithoragarh, Munsyari at Nanda Devi base camp 1.

If weather favours, a special operation is in offing on Saturday, with the IAF chopper dropping the ITBP team near the Nanda Devi base camp 2.

The flat land near the base camp 2 has thrilled the Pithoragarh district administration, ITBP and IAF teams involved in the high risk operation to retrieve bodies of eight mountaineers.

Pithoragarh district information officer Girja Shanker Joshi said, “Indian Air Force helicopter will drop the ITBP team near the base camp 2. This will reduce the trekking distance.”

Located approximately 4,200 metres above sea level, the search and rescue team will start their challenging operation from Nanda Devi base camp 2.

In a fresh survey the IAF team failed to locate the bodies on the glacier, which they had spotted recently.

The Mi-17 chopper to be used in the operation reached Pithoragarh on Friday and conducted survey of the area.

According to plan, the ITBP team will be dropped near Nanda Devi base camp 2 with their equipments.

British mountaineering expert Martin Moran, John McLaren, Rupert Whewell, Richard Payne, Anthony Sudekum, Ronald Beimel, Ruth McCance and Chetan Pandey remain missing since 27-28 May.