The Indian Military on Wednesday have begun their “high-rescue” operation of retrieving the body of eight climbers, who are believed to be dead in the avalanche last week on Nanda Devi, India’s second highest mountain. Indian Air Force choppers spotted five bodies Monday on the slopes of Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand while looking for the four Britons, two Americans, one Indian and one Australian believed killed by an avalanche last week. Wednesday's operation began at 5:00 am when a military helicopter with four Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) mountaineers and five Air Force personnel left the nearby hill town of Munsyari. The ITBP climbers were to be dropped by the helicopter 18,000-20,000 feet up India's second-highest mountain. The team led by Moran had permission to climb the eastern peak of Nanda Devi but a Facebook post by Moran's mountaineering firm on May 22 said that they planned to attempt "an unclimbed peak" around 6,500 metres (21,300 feet) high. Officials said the 12 climbers had set out from Munsyari but separated into two groups a week later. The groups communicated last on May 26, a day before heavy snow fell and massive avalanches hit the heights. When the eight climbers failed to report back to the base camp, the other four launched their own search before alerting Indian authorities who started a major search operation. The other climbers have been named as John McLaren, Rupert Whewell and University of York lecturer Richard Payne from Britain, US nationals Anthony Sudekum and Ronald Beimel, Australian Ruth McCance and Indian guide Chetan Pandey.
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