The bodies of seven climbers, including several Britons, who went missing on India’s second highest mountain have been recovered.
Eight people – four Britons, two Americans, one Indian and one Australian – vanished on Nanda Devi East in the Himalayas just under a month ago.
Britons Martin Moran, the expedition leader, John McLaren, Rupert Whewell and Richard Payne were in the missing group.
It is not yet known whose remains have been recovered.
Four missing British climbers huddled for a photograph to capture the start of their 25,000ft ascent up the Himalayan mountains – on which they would vanish days later. Pictured: Rupert Whewell (back row, second from left), Martin Moran (back row, sixth from left), Richard Payne (back row, fourth from right) and John McLaren (back row, third from right). Seven bodies have been recovered from the mountain, Indian authorities have said
Aerial photos of the area on the Nanda Devi mountain, the second highest in India, that mountaineers were reportedly heading towards. Equipment and backpacks were seen submerged in the snow
The climbers last communicated on May 26, a day before heavy snow and massive avalanches hit the mountain.
The team was attempting to reach the top of an unclimbed 6477metre peak in a remote area when they disappeared.
The bodies were found by the Indo-Tibetan Border, at an altitude of more than 5,000 metres. They will be brought back to base camp to be formally identified.
Police spokesman Vivek Kumar Pandey said the search for the eighth body would continue today.
Mr Moran, originally from Tyneside, has been a mountain guide since 1985 and set up his company – Moran Mountain, based in Strathcarron in the Scottish Highlands – with his wife Joy. Their grown-up children, Hazel and Alex, also work for the business.
Martin Moran, who is originally from Tyneside, was the leader of the party of eight mountaineers. He set up the company Moran Mountain with his wife Joy
Martin Moran (right), who is originally from Tyneside, was leading the party of eight that included Rupert Whewell (left) who were attempting to reach the top of an unclimbed summit in a remote area
Britons Richard Payne – a York University lecturer – and John McLaren (right) are among the eight missing following an avalanche
In an earlier statement, his family said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the tragic events unfolding in the Nanda Devi region of the Indian Himalayas.
‘As a family, we share the same emotions that all next of kin are experiencing in not knowing the whereabouts or well-being of those closest to us.’
Academic Richard Payne, from the University of York, is believed to be among the group of missing climbers.
Last month, the university said it was ‘extremely concerned’ about Mr Payne, and said: ‘Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.’
The eight-member team has not been heard from since an avalanche on May 31 as they scaled Nanda Devi mountain (pictured)
Four men have been rescued from the mountain. They are Mark Thomas, 44, Zachary Quain, 32, Kate Armstone, 39 and Ian Wade, 45.
Climber Nigel Vardy, who has known Mr Moran for 20 years, previously described him as ‘an absolute professional and genuinely a really, really nice guy’.