Brits missing after attempting unclimbed Himalayas peak may never be found
A number of British people who are still missing after vanishing during an expedition in the Indian Himalayas are unlikely to be found, officials have said.
The team of eight, reported to include four people from the UK, were climbing the 7,816-metre Nanda Devi, Indias second highest mountain.
British-based mountain guide Martin Moran, who owns trekking company Moran Mountain, was leading the group.
The district magistrates office later identified the eight missing as Mr Moran, John Mclaren, Rupert Whewell and Richard Payne, all from Britain, Anthony Sudekum and Ronald Beimel from the US, Ruth McCance from Australia, and Chetan Pandey, a guide from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
Reports suggest that a rescue operation, which began on Saturday but was called off on Sunday due to bad weather, is set to resume on Monday.
An Indian air force spokesman, Amid Chowdhury, said: Todays search has not hinted any results. We have not been able to spot any people or any gear or any clothing. Its not looking too good.
Vijay Kumar Jogdande, a civil administrator in northern Indias Uttarakhand state, said rescuers would be advised by four other team members who stayed back at the second base camp and were brought down on Sunday.
He said the alert was raised when the climbers did not return to the base camp on May 31.
Climber Nigel Vardy, who has known Mr Moran for 20 years, described him as an absolute professional and genuinely a really, really nice guy.
During his 30-year mountaineering career, Mr Vardy once suffered frostbite on a climb in Alaska and Mr Moran helped him rebuild his confidence.
He said: Martin is a fantastic guy but if the weather and the conditions are not with you, then no matter how skilled you are the mountain is going to have its way.
Mr Vardy stated that Mr Moran knows the area, he knows the mountains and knows what he is doing.
Mr Vardy said he is hoping for everyones safe return but concerns over safety deepen the longer that anyone is missing.
Amit Chowdhary, of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, suggested the location of the missing climbers had been known up to May 26.
He said that reports from the four other team members, who had gone out to look for the missing climbers, suggested there was evidence of a very large avalanche.