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Why Nanda Devi climbers took unknown path? Team member reveals shocking details

The Eight Mountaineers Were Reported Missing Since May 25. Authorities Had Earlier Managed To Rescue Four Other Climbers From The UK, Stuck Up Near Base Camp Of Nanda Devi East Peak In Pithoragarh.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Surabhi Pandey | Updated on: 06 Jun 2019, 02:05:50 PM
The route to the Nanda Devi peak begins from Munsiyari about 132 km from the district headquarters. (PTI file photo)

New Delhi:

Day after the rescue team spotted bodies of missing climbers near Nadav Devi East peak in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh, new details have emerged as to what exactly happened on that little-known hilly region. A report in Times of India on Thursday said that the team of mountaineers had decided to trek the unnamed peak in order to train themselves for the final mission. A letter by deputy team leader Mark Thomas to Pithoragarh district officials now reveals that the team of eight had decided to trek the smaller peak in order to train themselves and acclimatise to the Indian conditions.

Thomas, who was rescued by the officials from Base Camp, further said that it is incorrect to say that the team had broken any rule. He said that the team had informed the Indian Mountaineering Foundation about their plans. In fact, IMF’s liaison officer Chetan Pandey was informed about the unnamed peak and asked if he would like to join them.

An official statement by the Moran Mountain Team also tried to clear the doubts. “In light of recent media reports, we would like to issue a statement from the Moran Mountain Team with regard to the legality and permissions for Peak 6477, where the accident occurred. We want to be very clear that all permits and permissions were in place before the expedition set off from the UK. The open permit acquired from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) covered the peak of Nanda Devi East and all peaks which could be reached from the Base Camp for Nanda Devi East, peak 6477 being one of these. The team met with the IMF before the expedition and discussed their plans to summit Peak 6477 during their trip. All permit documentation, signed and stamped, detailing these facts is in our hands. To be very clear, the sources of information in the media are not factually informed and are speculating on a situation in which they were not involved,” the statement said.

Five bodies out of eight missing mountaineers, including seven foreigners, were sighted during a massive rescue mission near Nanda Devi East peak in Pithoragarh, according to news agency Reuters. The eight mountaineers were reported missing since May 25. Authorities had earlier managed to rescue four other climbers from the UK, stuck up near base camp of Nanda Devi East peak in Pithoragarh.

Pithoragarh District Magistrate VK Jogdande said the four UK climbers were spotted 21 kilometers beyond the base camp and rescued during a sortie undertaken to locate the missing eight-member team led by well-known UK climber Martin Moran.

Two sorties were conducted on Sunday to locate Moran's team, said Jogdande, adding more sorties would be held on Monday to search them.

The four UK mountaineers rescued on Sunday told authorities that when they last got in touch with Moran's team on May 24, they were heading for some peak other than Nanda Devi East.

Moran's eight-member team went missing on way to the 7,434-metre-high Nanda Devi East peak in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district.

The eight missing climbers were Martin Moran, John McLaren, Richard Payne and Rupert Havel from the UK, Anthony Sudecam and Rachel Bimmel from the US, Ruth Macrain from Australia and IMF's Chetan Pandey.

The route to the peak begins from Munsiyari about 132 km from the district headquarters.

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First Published : 06 Jun 2019, 02:05:50 PM