Highlands & Islands

Himalayas search for climber Martin Moran called off, says family

Martin Moran Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Martin Moran was a well-known name in the UK climbing community

The search for a British mountaineer who is believed to have died along with seven other climbers in the Himalayas has been called off, his family say.

Highlands-based Martin Moran had been leading the group on the ascent of an unclimbed and unnamed 21,250ft (6,477m) summit in the Nanda Devi region in May.

They were reported missing after an avalanche in the area.

The bodies of the other members of the group were recovered last month. Mr Moran's body remains missing.

In a statement on Facebook, the family of Tyneside-born Mr Moran said: "With monsoon season in full force in the Himalaya, the conditions in the mountains have worsened and with the safety of the recovery teams in mind, the search for Martin has been called off.

"We have received an overwhelming outpouring of love and support for us and for all the families who have lost their loved one. Your kindness has given us hope and light on the darkest of days.

"Martin was a beloved husband, father, friend and colleague. We will honour his memory by continuing to journey into the mountains and to all the places he held dear."

Mr Moran's family, which runs a business from Lochcarron, is holding a celebration of his life in Torridon, Wester Ross, on 13 July.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The 12 climbers pictured before they began their ascent

The rest of the group were John McLaren, Rupert Whewell and University of York lecturer Richard Payne from the UK; US nationals Anthony Sudekum and Ronald Beimel; Australian Ruth McCance; and Indian guide Chetan Pandey.

They had began the ascent on 13 May. Contact was lost on 26 May, a day before an avalanche hit the 7,816m-high mountain.

Four other climbers who were part of the same expedition had earlier been rescued after turning back because of the bad weather.

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