Nanda Devi: Search for eight climbers missing in Himalayas

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Hundreds of climbers from across the world visit India to scale mountains across the Himalayan chain, and the peaks of Nanda Devi are considered the toughest to scale.

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".

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

If the climbers had been caught up in an avalanche it would be hard to search for them in the current conditions, she said. "The rescued mountaineers were a part of the 13 mountaineers team, of which eight mountaineers are still missing and one porter returned safely on his own on Friday", said Pithoragarh district administration officials.

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Martin Moran had scaled the peak twice in the past, he said.

'After a recce of the route they will be making a summit attempt on an unclimbed peak at 6477m'. The base camp is located at 19,685 feet above sea level.

The team which has seven mountaineers from the United Kingdom, the US and Australia left Munsiyari on May 13 to scale the 7,434-metre Nanda Devi peak. "Nobody has actually ever set foot on the summit of that peak".

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

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Maninder Kohli, a mountaineer and foundation member, said Moran was known for his passion for trying new peaks.

Other climbers in the group who turned back earlier notified officials late on Friday when their colleagues did not return as planned, Sanjay Gunjiyal, a police official in the SDRF, told Reuters.

Those missing include hikers from Britain, U.S., Australia and India.

The UK Foreign Office said in a statement it was in contact with Indian authorities following reports that the climbers were missing. The search operation was conducted in the region based on the inputs provided by four other British climbers who were rescued on Sunday.

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The missing climbers are 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, said Pithoragarh District Magistrate V K Jogdande.