More than 100 mountaineers, including one from Australia, are trapped in the northern Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh after heavy snowfall and blizzards, news reports say.


The five teams of missing climbers included seven German nationals, eight Russians and an Australian, Uttarakhand official PC Dandriyal was quoted as saying by PTI news agency.

The rest of the climbers were Indians. They included more than 60 porters, guides and cooks.

Three of the teams had left on their trekking expeditions on September 18, while another left a day later.

The groups were scheduled to complete the trek on the Mana-Harsil route at the Hindu pilgrimage site of Badrinath on October 5.

Five Indian Army mountaineers, who were part of a group attempting to climb the 24,500-feet Nanda Devi east summit in the Garhwal Himalayas, were also missing since Wednesday, an army spokesman said.

"We are trying to find the members of the four teams which went to Mana-Harsil trek route recently, following heavy snowfall in the region," Dandriyal said.

The Germans and Russians were members of teams on this route.

Local authorities lost contact with the climbers on Friday. The team that included the Russians, however, managed to send an SOS saying they were trapped on the Gangotri glacier, PTI reported.

The federal defence ministry has been asked to provide helicopters to rescue the trekkers as bad weather was hampering the movement of rescue teams.

The trekking season in Uttarakhand usually lasts from May to the end of October - a period between the melting of snows in mountain passes and onset of winter snowfall.

Officials said the expedition organisers had not anticipated the early snowfall and blizzards.