New Delhi: Authorities on Monday revealed a heart-wrenching video of the final moments of an international team of climbers, who were swept away in an avalanche while scaling an unconquered Himalayan peak.
The 154-second clip shows the four Britishers, two Americans, an Australian and their Indian guide roped together in bright sunshine as they take nervous, synchronised steps along a narrow ridge towards a snow-capped peak.
The climber who shot the video, who is last in the queue, moves the camera around not just to capture the team’s journey to one of the most difficult mountains peaks in the Indian Himalayan ranges, but also the scenic view of the ranges covered with a white blanket of snow.
Just as you take in the beauty of the mountains, the video ends. With a distressing thud.
Last visuals of the mountaineers’ team near the summit on unnamed peak near the #NandaDevi east. ITBP search team of mountaineers found the memory video device at 19K ft while they were searching the area where bodies were spotted. pic.twitter.com/0BI87MEA8Y
— ITBP (@ITBP_official) July 8, 2019
ITBP officials say the sound could be of an avalanche or snow storm that claimed the lives of eight climbers. The camera was found buried in snow near the spot where seven bodies were recovered.
“The video was sourced from a photo card that our boys recovered from near the bodies that lay in a bowl-like region of the mountain. This is the only evidence and last moments record of the journey of the eight climbers,” ITBP Deputy Inspector General (DIG) A P S Nimbadia said.
“It ends with a slight thud like sound and we suspect that this would have the avalanche or snowstorm that led to the death of the climbers,” he said.
The mountaineers went missing on May 25 and seven bodies were brought down by the ITBP from about 19,000 feet to a lower base only on July 3, following which helicopters moved them to Pithoragarh.