• STV
  • MySTV

Family 'deeply saddened' as climber missing after avalanche

Martin Moran, who lives in the Highlands, is missing along with eight climbers in the Himlayas.

Missing: Martin Moran was climbing in the Himalayas.
Missing: Martin Moran was climbing in the Himalayas.

The family of a Scottish-based mountain guide, who is missing along with the climbers he was leading in the Himalayas, have said they are "deeply saddened" following an avalanche on the mountain range.

Martin Moran, who is originally from Tyneside, was leading a 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 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 find the missing climbers after the alarm was raised on Friday morning.

'As a family, we share the same emotions that all next of kin are experiencing in not knowing the whereabouts or well-being of those closest to us.'
Moran family statement

In a statement, the Moran family said: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic events unfolding in the Nanda Devi region of the Indian Himalayas.

"As a family, we share the same emotions that all next of kin are experiencing in not knowing the whereabouts or well-being of those closest to us."

Academic Richard Payne from the University of York is believed to be among the group of missing climbers.

The university said it was "extremely concerned for his safety", adding: "Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."

The Moran family said the climbing group "had set out to attempt an unclimbed, unnamed summit, Peak 6477m, and the last contact intimated that all was well".

They added: "It is not entirely clear what happened from this point onwards or indeed the timeline of events.

"We do know that a British mountain guide who was in the area leading a trekking group, as part of the same expedition, was informed that the climbing group had not returned to base camp as expected.

"He immediately went on the mountain to search for the missing climbers.

"There was clear evidence that a sizeable avalanche had occurred on the mountain and it seemed to be on or very near the route that would be taken by the climbing group.

"The mountain guide gave instructions to base camp to alert rescue authorities. The alarm was raised early on Friday morning, May 31."

https://stv.tv/news/highlands-islands/1438193-scot-among-eight-climbers-missing-in-indian-himalayas/ | default

The Morans said they were "grateful to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation who are coordinating search and rescue efforts on the ground and in the air under extremely difficult conditions in a very remote area of the Himalayas".

They added: "Today we have been informed by the Indian Mountaineering Federation that an air search by helicopter has revealed the scale of the avalanche but no sign of the climbers, their equipment nor their tents.

"We are pressing for the search area to be widened and continued until such time as firm evidence is found to ascertain the well-being or otherwise of all those in the climbing group."

As well as four Britons, the group is thought to include two American climbers, one Australian and one person from India.

'Martin is a fantastic guy but if the weather and the conditions are not with you, then no matter how skilled you are the mountain is going to have its way.'
Nigel Vardy, climber

Climber Nigel Vardy, who has known Mr Moran for 20 years, described him as "an absolute professional and genuinely a really, really nice guy".

He said: "Martin is a fantastic guy but if the weather and the conditions are not with you, then no matter how skilled you are the mountain is going to have its way."

Mark Charlton, president of the British Association of Mountain Guides (BMG), said in a post on the organisation's Facebook page that Mr Moran had been leading six clients and an Indian national.

"The BMG is assisting where possible and is in contact with the Indian authorities," he said.

"At the moment this is all the information we have as communication is very difficult."

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with the Indian authorities following reports that a number of British nationals are missing in the Indian Himalayas.

"We will do all we can to assist any British people who need our help."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.