Four British climbers rescued from avalanche-hit Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand

Four British climbers rescued from avalanche-hit Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand

Four British climbers rescued from avalanche-hit Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand

Along with four people from Britain, two from the USA, and one from India, McCance had been preparing to climb the Nanda Devi, India's second-highest mountain, on a previously unclimbed route after reaching 4,870 metres on 22 May.

Jogdande said the bodies were above 5,000 metres and the possibility of a second avalanche would make accessing the site hard. They were evacuated from their base camp by helicopter and were "fine and healthy", said Tripti Bhatt, an official of the Uttarakhand State Disaster Response Force.

Leading the group was veteran British mountain guide Martin Moran, who ran the Moran Mountain company, which leads expeditions in the Himalayas.

"Vijay Kumar Jogdande, a civil administrator in northern India's Uttarakhand state, said rescuers would be advised by four other team members who stayed back at the second base camp and were brought down yesterday".

He said the climbers were likely trekking heights above 6,000 metres when the avalanche struck after heavy snowfall.

Rescuers say they are still "hopeful" of finding alive eight climbers who have been missing on a notoriously hard to climb mountain in the Indian Himalayas for a week.

McCance didn't travel to Nanda Devi to seek thrills but rather for spiritual nourishment, Goldsack said on Monday before it was reported the bodies had been spotted.

Moran's company wrote on its Facebook page on Sunday that it was working with authorities and the British Association of Mountain Guides to "gather information regarding the Nanda Devi East expedition team".

An increasingly desperate search for eight climbers missing after an avalanche in the Indian Himalayas was called off due to poor weather but will resume at first light on Monday, officials said.

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"As a family, we share the same emotions that all next of kin are experiencing in not knowing the whereabouts or well-being of those closest to us", the statement said.

The eight were doing a "recce" to check the route but failed to return to base camp on Sunday 27 May. At 7,816 metre, Nanda Devi is India's second highest mountain.

The group of four rescued Brits has helped to narrow down the search area, officials said.

"On Monday morning, the IAF chopper left for a sortie from Pithoragarh at 8.51 am for the group's last location of Nanda Devi East". The Moran family statement said the last contact with the group had been from a camp at around 17,716 feet (5,400 meters).

"It is not entirely clear what happened from this point onwards or indeed the timeline of events".

She went running in the Blue Mountains to improve her stamina and climbed peaks in France and New Zealand, and had climbed in India's Ladakh region before.

"The BMG is assisting where possible and is in contact with the Indian authorities", he said. "Further rescue operation will be conducted after we get instructions", Pithoragarh District Magistrate VK Jogdande was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

India does not allow climbers on the Nanda Devi peak.

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