The group of four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian tour guide were attempting to climb the Himalayas’ second-highest peak, Nanda Devi, on May 26 when disaster struck.
After a month-long search operation, seven of the bodies were recovered after they were spotted from a military helicopter on June 3. The deceased were originally part of a 12-person expedition but four Britons managed to escape before the suspected avalanche hit. The eighth climber, British team leader Martin Moran, is still missing.
The group’s GoPro camera was found buried in snow at an altitude of 20,000 feet, near where seven bodies were recovered. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police released a 154-second clip of the footage showing the group’s final hours.
“Suddenly we noticed a loud noise. The video went blank and stopped,” police spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said. “They were crossing a very dangerous ridge. The snow cornice must have given away because of their weight, triggering an avalanche.”
Nambadia, the ITBP deputy inspector general who planned the operation to retrieve the bodies, said their recovery had been “extremely challenging” and that his exhausted team broke down upon discovering the bodies. They took great care in removing them and bringing them down the mountain, preserving them in the snow overnight to stave off decomposition.
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