Dehradun, June 23 (IANS) A search team on Sunday found seven bodies of foreign mountaineers who had gone missing last month while climbing the Nanda Devi East peak in Uttarakhand, a top government official said.
District Magistrate, Pithoragarh, Vijay Kumar Jogdande, who had organised the search team comprising personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force, confirmed that seven bodies, including one of a woman, have been found at a height of 5,800 metres on the mountain this morning.
The team found the seven bodies buried under a thick layer of snow on the western ridge of the peak.
The bodies have not yet been identified.
The search is on to find one remaining body as there were a total of eight members in the team, including an Indian, which had gone missing on way to the peak. The operation to retrieve the bodies from the mountain had begun on June 12.
The mission called ‘Operation Daredevil’ was assisted by Indian Air Force helicopters.
IAF choppers early this month had spotted the bodies of five of the eight mountaineers who perished on way to the Nanda Devi East peak. The bodies had been sighted at an unnamed peak adjoining Nanda Devi East during an air search by the helicopters.
The team which went missing en route to the Nanda Devi East peak consisted of climbers from the UK, the US, Australia, apart from one Indian.
They had left Munsiyari on May 13 to scale the peak but did not return to the base camp on the appointed date of May 25. The route to the peak begins from Munsiyari, about 132 kms from Pithoragarh district headquarters.