Operation to retrieve bodies from Nanda Devi was among toughest: ITBP
Retrieving bodies of climbers from Nanda Devi was among the toughest operations carried out above 20,000 feet, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Deputy Inspector General (DIG) A.P.S. Nimbadia said on Monday.
Talking to IANS here, Nimbadia said "Operation Daredevil" to bring back bodies of seven climbers who had gone missing was executed at 21,000 feet by ITBP specialists.
The bodies were first carried to 21,000 feet from where they were slid down to 19,000 feet in harsh climate and hostile terrain.
"It took our climbers three hours to lift the bodies to 21,000 feet and slide it to the other side," he said.
"The bodies had started decomposing and we were running out of time. Our climbers had to dig snow and bury the bodies to slow down the decomposition process. Our effort was also to bring the bodies back with dignity," he said.
The leader of the operations team Ratan Singh Sonal said: "The terrain was very difficult and there was soft snow and a wrong step would have meant danger to life."
Sonal, who belongs to Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, said that unlike Mount Everest, Nanda Devi is very difficult. In the case of the latter, one has to open the route and fix it.
The search operation involved 12 expert mountaineers of the force.
With the help of the Pithoragarh district administration, the ITBP began search operations from June 14 by establishing base camps in the direction of the incident site.
The ITBP team managed to recover seven bodies, out of the eight of missing mountaineers, near an unnamed peak near Nanda Devi East on June 23. IANS