The suspense over the missing body of British mountaineer Martin Moran, who was leading a group of climbers to Nanda Devi expedition earlier this year, has further deepened. The find of the last video of the climbers, who lost their lives in Nanda Devi area in district Pithoragarh in May this year, shows seven persons moving on snow and one mountaineer filming the proceedings through a camera attached to his helmet. The video shows the group near the summit and the climbers walking as two rope up team- in a group of four each.
A team of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) conducted a highly risky and challenging operation to retrieve the bodies of the climbers recently. The team concluded the mission in 21 days on 3 July. Seven bodies were recovered from the glacier and the body of Martin Moran still remains missing. The ITBP team found the luggage and other belongings of the killed mountaineers.
Team leader Ratan Singh Sonal said, “We found a broken helmet and a camera attached to it. We retrieved data from the memory card and found the last video of the expedition team. Martin Moran was leading and he possibly detached from the rope as he saw the tragedy happening.”
The ITBP released the video clip after felicitating the members, of the special operation to Nanda Devi, in New Delhi on Monday. The one-minute 55-second video fails to capture the disaster which hit the Moran led expedition team.
The belongings of the expedition team were submitted to the Pithoragarh district administration. The ITBP team recovered camera, mobile, mountaineering equipment and other items from the disaster site. But, the rescue team was surprised by finding a small teddy bear toy. One member of the Moran team possibly carried the soft toy as a good luck charm.
New theory suggests that after detaching himself, Martin Moran possibly fell into a gorge. The ITBP team launched a special operation to find the bodies of missing climbers last month. The team found three bodies at one spot and four at another place in the same format as the rope up group were moving. But, the missing body of Moran still remains a mystery and even the last video of the group has failed to solve it.
After eight mountaineers- four from Britain, two from America, one each from India and Australia- went missing on 27/28 May from Nanda Devi area; the Pithoragarh district launched a special operation. The Indo Tibetan Border Police and Indian Air Force (IAF) were involved. The ITBP formed a special team consisting of 15 expert mountaineers and five support staff members. Seven bodies were recovered from Nanda Devi and they were airlifted to Pithoragarh on 3 July.