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Bodies of 5 Climbers Spotted Near Nanda Devi

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Nanda Devi and Nanda Devi East, India. Photo: Courtesy of Moran Mountain.

Indian authorities are reporting that five bodies have been spotted on the unclimbed peak near Nanda Devi that the British mountain guide Martin Moran was attempting last week with seven other climbers.

While it was originally thought that Moran and his clients were attempting Nanda Devi East, the team was actually trying to make the first ascent of an unclimbed 6,477-meter peak in the immediate vicinity. The team of eight failed to return from their objective last week, at which point a search and rescue operation was set in motion.

For More on This Story, Read 8 Climbers Missing on Nanda Devi

Four climbers from the guided expedition who had chosen to return to base camp have assisted in the efforts. According to The Times of India, one of these climbers, Mark Thomas, participated in an aerial helicopter search. In photos taken during the flight of an avalanche swept area, Thomas identified various gear and the bodies of five individuals.

Also Read Andy Harvard, Veteran of Nanda Devi and Everest Expeditions, Dies at 69

In addition to Moran, the names of the eight missing climbers, presumed to have been killed in a massive avalanche, are Anthony Sudekum and Ronald Beimel, of the U.S.; John McLaren, Richard Payne and Rupert Whewell, of the U.K.; Ruth McCance, of Australia; and Chetan Pandey, of India.

For more background, see 8 Climbers Missing on Nanda Devi.