Australia

Body of Sydney mountaineer Ruth McCance begins journey home from India

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The body of Australian mountaineer Ruth McCance has been retrieved from a remote mountain in India's Himalayas.

Australian mountaineer Ruth McCance has started her journey home after her body was airlifted off a remote mountain in India's Himalayas.

Ms McCance was part of an eight-member international mountaineering team who went missing during an expedition on Nanda Devi East after they were hit by an avalanche in late May.

Paramilitary soldiers located the bodies of seven of the eight climbers at an altitude of more than 5000 metres more than a week ago.

Seven bodies were retrieved during aerial missions on Wednesday - including the body of a woman believed to be Ms McCance.

The bodies were moved in bags by a team travelling on foot to a site where they could be more easily be reached by helicopters.

The retrieval of Ms McCance's body comes just days after her husband Trent Goldsack returned to the Sydney church where the couple were wed in 2006 to mourn his late wife.

More than 300 people packed into the memorial service at St James' Church in the city to farewell the avid climber, sailor and jazz singer.

Mountaineer Ruth McCance, from Sydney, is missing in the Himalayas.
Mountaineer Ruth McCance, from Sydney, was on an expedition that was hit by an avalanche.
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Bodies rescued from the mountain have been brought back to the Pithoragarh district headquarters about 100 kilometres away from the retrieval site.

The bodies will be taken to a hospital in the city of Haldwani.

A mourner holds an order of service booklet during the Memorial Service for parishioner and Australian climber Ruth McCance at St James' Church in Sydney
A mourner holds an order of service booklet during the Memorial Service for parishioner and Australian climber Ruth McCance at St James' Church in Sydney
AAP

Only one other body has been identified so far, that of an Indian liaison officer, but the other five cannot yet be identified because they don't have documentation, according to Pithoragarh district magistrate Vijay Kumar Jogdande.

The search for the missing body of the eighth member of the team had to be stopped last week due to bad weather as monsoon season approached.

Authorities will revisit the subject of retrieving the body in three or four months when monsoon season passes.

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