Climbers who vanished during ascent of India's second-highest peak are pictured at base camp

Mail Online | 6/2/2019 | Jack Elsom;Leigh Mcmanus For Mailonline
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Four missing British climbers huddled for a photograph to capture the start of their 25,000ft ascent up the Himalayan mountains - on which they would vanish days later.

A picture has emerged of the two eight-strong mountaineering teams posing in front of the camera in the early stages of their expedition up Nanda Devi, India's second highest peak.

May - Group - Mammoth - Challenge - Unaware

On May 13, the group bunched together and smiled as they prepared to embark on the mammoth challenge, unaware that in 18 days time one of the teams would drop off the map following a devastating avalanche.

This eight-man team includes UK nationals Martin Moran - the lead mountaineer - John McLaren, Rupert Whewell and Richard Payne.

Americans - Anthony - Sudekum - Ronald - Beimel

Americans Anthony Sudekum and Ronald Beimel, Australian Ruth McCance and Indian guide Chetan Pandey are also missing.

Two helicopters were scrambled to search for the climbers after they vanished on Friday.

Weather - Tonight - Hunt

But bad weather tonight has reportedly seen the hunt temporarily stood down.

Although two groups merged for the picture, they split back off into two separate teams for the ascent. The second team reportedly ventured on to another peak.

Martin - Moran - Tyneside - Party - Top

Martin Moran, who is originally from Tyneside, was leading the party of eight who were attempting to reach the top of an unclimbed summit in a remote area.

While his family said it was 'not entirely clear' what had happened to the group - which included another three British climbers - they said there was 'clear evidence that a sizeable avalanche had occurred on the mountain'.

Mr - Moran - Mountain - Guide - Company

Mr Moran has been a mountain guide since 1985 and set up his company Moran Mountain, which is based in Strathcarron in the Highlands, together with his wife Joy - with the couple's grown up children Hazel and Alex both also working with the family business.

Searches have been taking place in a bid to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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