Australia

Sydney mountaineer Ruth McCance to be honoured in memorial service

Mountaineer Ruth McCance, from Sydney, was on an expedition that was hit by an avalanche. Source: Facebook

Family and friends of Sydney mountaineer Ruth McCance will gather to mourn the corporate coach after she was killed while climbing in the Himalayas.

Mountaineer Ruth McCance will be mourned at a memorial service in Sydney as authorities continue efforts to recover her body from the Indian Himalayas.

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

Paramilitary soldiers located the bodies of seven of the eight climbers at an altitude of more than 5000 metres on the mountain last week.

Sydney's Ruth McCance stopped climbing at age 30 because she was overwhelmed by the risks.
Sydney's Ruth McCance stopped climbing at age 30 because she was overwhelmed by the risks.
Supplied

The bodies are yet to be identified but it's believed Ms McCance's is among those found.

A memorial service will be held for the corporate coach, jazz singer and sailor at St James' Church in Sydney on Monday.

A wake will follow at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron club in Kirribilli.

A memorial concert is also planned to raise money for St Laurence House, a homeless youth service where Ms MsCance served as chair and a committee member.

The service, in a Facebook post in June, said Ms McCance was "loved by all".

"Ruth always gave freely and positively of her time and expertise, did not judge people's position or circumstance, was naturally empathetic and possessed great dynamism and cheerfulness."

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has identified a place to land and conducted a trial run of its mission to bring the bodies down the mountain, a source close to Ms McCance told AAP on Sunday.

Her husband Trent Goldsack said he had initially concluded he would never get his wife's remains back, given the difficulty Indian authorities had experienced with inclement weather and the remote location.

He had expected his wife would be "resting in the beautiful wild places that she needed to be in", Mr Goldsack said.

Climbers in Munsiyari town in the northern Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, India on 13 May, 2019.
Indian soldiers have recovered the bodies of seven mountaineers who went missing in an avalanche in the Himalayas.
Himalayan Run & Trek Pvt. Ltd.

"When they found the bodies, at least, as sad as that was, we had an answer," he said.

He said he will "always be married to her".

Veteran British mountaineer Martin Moran was leading the team, which included three other UK climbers, two men from the US and an Indian liaison officer as well as Ms McCance.

On Facebook last week, Ms McCance's friend Meera Belle said her death had taken her "partner in crime" while "the world has lost yet another great singer and a wonderful human being".

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