Australian climber ‘missing in Himalayas’
An Australian woman is thought to be missing in the Himalayas in India after her expedition team failed to return from an attempted summiting of a remote unclimbed peak.
The Foreign Affairs Department said it was providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian "that may be among a group of trekkers missing in the Nanda Devi area of India".
The ABC reports the woman is Ruth McCance from Sydney, an experienced amateur climber who had been on mountain expeditions in India's Ladakh region previously.
When the group failed to return to base camp, mountaineers searched a higher camp and found their tents empty.
Local mountaineers report there was a heavy avalanche on the group's proposed route, the ABC reports.
The eight-member team was being led by British guide Martin Moran, an two other Brits, two Americans, an Indian guide and Ms McCance.
The team trekked into the heart of the Nanda Devi sanctuary "with the ambition of summiting a virgin peak", according to a Moran Mountain Facebook post on May 12.
The complete trip was expected to take some 24 days.
The adventure company, Moran Mountain, on May 22 wrote that the Nanda Devi team had reached its second base camp at almost 5000 metres above sea level.
"After a recce of the route, they will be making a summit attempt on an unclimbed peak at 6477m," the company stated on Facebook.
Local media reports the district administration has sent a rescue team to search for the missing mountaineers.
But rescuers are travelling on foot and are expected to take three days to reach their last known camp, the ABC reports.
The missing were originally part of a team of 12 climbers, but four turned back to base camp while the remaining eight continued on.