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Search called off for climber missing in Himalayas

A group of eight climbers vanished in the Nanda Devi region in May following an avalanche.

Tributes: Martin Moran went missing while climbing the Himalayas.
Tributes: Martin Moran went missing while climbing the Himalayas. SWNS

The search for the body of a Scots-based mountaineer missing in the Himalayas has been called off, his family have announced.

Martin Moran, 64, vanished in the Nanda Devi region of India - along with seven other climbers - on May 26 following an avalanche.

Four other climbers - who were part of the team - were previously rescued.

Led by Mr Moran, the group were attempting to reach the top of an unclimbed peak in a remote area.

Seven bodies were recovered last month, however "with a heavy heart" Mr Moran's family confirmed that his body remains missing and with the monsoon season in full force the search has been stopped.

Experienced: Mr Moran set up a company in the Scottish Highlands.
Experienced: Mr Moran set up a company in the Scottish Highlands. SWNS

Posting on Facebook, they said: "We would like to make a final statement regarding the tragedy that has unfolded in the Nanda Devi region of the Indian Himalaya.

"Martin and seven fellow climbers lost their lives in a mountaineering accident that we believe took place early on May 26, 2019.

"The recovery of the climbers was undertaken by the Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF), the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

"This has been a lengthy and complicated recovery operation at high altitudes of over 15,000 ft; a monumental effort under extremely difficult circumstances, and we are all grateful for their extraordinary efforts.


"We understand that in the coming days the bodies of seven mountaineers will be repatriated to their respective countries and loved ones.

"It is with a heavy heart that we can now confirm that the eighth member of the expedition, whose body remains missing in the mountains, is that of Martin Moran.

"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."

Mr Moran, originally from Tyneside, had been a mountain guide since 1985 and set up his company - Moran Mountain, based in Strathcarron in the Highlands - with his wife Joy, while their grown-up children Hazel and Alex also work for the business.

'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.'
Martin Moran's family

The family thanked all those who have offered support and paid tribute to Mr Moran, describing him as a "beloved husband, father, friend and colleague".

They stated: "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."

The Himalayas: The range has many of the earth's highest peaks, including Mount Everest.
The Himalayas: The range has many of the earth's highest peaks, including Mount Everest. Pixabay

Earlier this week, British Mountain Guides (BMG) paid tribute to Mr Moran.

In a statement, they said: "Our memories of Martin will linger long and we will always remember him as the consummate professional, a companion with whom great mountain days were shared and a true friend and colleague.

"May he rest in peace among the high places that he loved so much."

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