NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s mountaineering foundation has launched a ground expedition on a notoriously dangerous Himalayan mountain to retrieve the bodies of five people believed to be from a missing team of international climbers, an official said Monday.
The foundation spokesman Amit Chaudhary said a fully equipped 12-member team hopes to reach the area where the bodies were spotted by Saturday. Helicopter missions have failed to reach the area at an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) due to strong turbulence.
Veteran British mountaineer Martin Moran led the team of four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian on the expedition on Nanda Devi East.
Moran’s Scotland-based company said contact with the team was lost on May 26 following an avalanche. All eight missing climbers are feared dead.
The foundation said its expedition has a window of 15-20 days to complete the operation before monsoon rains arrive. The expedition was using the Pindari glacier side to reach the site.