Several mountaineers missing during Himalayas expedition

Rescue operation to resume on Monday after being called off over bad weather

The Himalayas seen from the hill-station of Kausani in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. Photograph: Getty Images

The Himalayas seen from the hill-station of Kausani in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Several mountaineers have gone missing during an expedition in the Indian Himalayas.

The team of eight, reported to include four people from the UK, were climbing the 7,816-metre Nanda Devi, India’s second highest mountain.

British-based mountain guide Martin Moran, who owns trekking company Moran Mountain, was leading the group.

Reports suggest that a rescue operation, which began on Saturday but was called off on Sunday due to bad weather, is set to resume on Monday.

Vijay Kumar Jogdande, a civil administrator in northern India’s Uttarakhand state, said rescuers would be advised by four other team members who stayed back at the second base camp and were brought down on Sunday.

He said the alert was raised when the climbers did not return to the base camp on May 31st.

Mark Charlton, president of the British Association of Mountain Guides (BMG), said in a post on the organisation’s Facebook page that Mr Moran had been leading six clients and an Indian national.

“The BMG is assisting where possible and is in contact with the Indian authorities,” he said.

“At the moment this is all the information we have as communication is very difficult.”

A post on the Moran Mountain Facebook page said the company was working with authorities and the BMG to gather information about the expedition team.

An earlier post on May 13th showed the group beginning their trek “into the hills at Neem Kharoli Baba temple, Bhowali”.

According to an update on May 22nd, the group had reached their second base camp at 4,870m and were due to make a summit attempt on an unclimbed peak at 6,477m.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We are in contact with the Indian authorities following reports that a number of British nationals are missing in the Indian Himalayas. We will do all we can to assist any British people who need our help.”