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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

4 foreign mountaineers rescued from Nanda Devi, 8 climbers still missing

A team of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will join the search operations for the eight mountaineers who have been missing since May 25.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2019 07:34 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times, Haldwani
The four British mountaineers in Pithoragarh after their rescue on Sunday.
The four British mountaineers in Pithoragarh after their rescue on Sunday.(HT PHOTO)

Search teams have rescued four foreign mountaineers from Nanda Devi peak base camp in Pithoragarh on Sunday. The rescued mountaineers were a part of the 13 mountaineers team, of which eight mountaineers are still missing and one porter returned safely on his own on Friday,” said Pithoragarh district administration officials.

The four rescued mountaineers , all citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) , have been identified as Zachary Quain, 32, Kate Armstrone, 39, Ian Wade, 45, and Mark Thomas, 44. Thomas was the expedition’s British deputy leader. They were rescued by one of the two helicopters of Indian Air Force (IAF), which have been pressed into the rescue operation.

“The four foreign mountaineers rescued were admitted in the district hospital of Pithoragarh but were discharged after minor treatment,” said RC Gautam, sub-divisional magistrate, Munsiyari. The four rescued mountaineers refused to talk to the media persons.

There was no headway in finding the missing eight mountaineers, including seven foreigners and one Indian mountaineer, Gautam added.

The team, led by British climber Martin Moran, began its ascent May 13 to summit up a previously unclimbed peak on Nanda Devi East at 6,477 metres, news agency Associated Press quoted Moran Mountain, Moran’s Scotland-based company, as saying.

The route to the Nanda Devi peak begins from the Munsiyari area, about 130 kilometres from Pithoragarh. Mountaineers traverse on foot about 90 kilometres from Munsiyari to the Nanda Devi base camp.

Vijay Kumar Jogdande, a civil administrator, said the mountaineers were supposed to return to the base camp on Friday. “But when they failed to return, an alert was sounded and the rescue operation was launched,” Jogdande told AP.

He added that trekking has been called off in the region due to inclement weather and an avalanche.

He added that the rescue operation, launched on Saturday, was called off Sunday due to bad weather. The search would resume on Monday, using tips provided by the four team members brought down from the base camp.

According to Gautam, “It [rescue operation] is on but hindered due to bad weather conditions. Desired number of sorties by the IAF choppers also could not be made due to bad weather.”

A team of the Indian Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), stationed at the Namik Glacier, 40 kms from Munsiyari reached Laspa village, near Nanda Devi base camp on Sunday and are expected to take part in the search and rescue operations from Monday, added Gautam.

On Saturday night, Almora-based well known mountaineer, Dhruv Joshi also left for Munsyari to assist in the rescue operations.

First Published: Jun 02, 2019 19:15 IST

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