Eight climbers traverse a snow ledge on an unclimbed peak of India's second-highest mountain, a bright sun shining down. Then the screen goes black. The footage released Monday, taken from a GoPro camera retrieved from the body of one of eight climbers who perished on Nanda Devi in May, represents the final moments of the group, according to Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Though circulated clips cut before any sign of danger, an ITBP spokesman tells AFP that "the video went blank and stopped" just as a "loud noise" was heard. He adds the group may have caused the snow ledge to give way, "triggering an avalanche."
The footage, being analyzed to better understand what went wrong, "was mesmerizing for us to see," ITBP deputy inspector general APS Nambadia says, per the BBC. "The GoPro was proved to be like the black box of an aircraft giving an insight into the last few moments of the climbers." US climbers Anthony Sudekum and Ronald Beimel had set out to scale the peak on May 13 along with four Britons, an Australian, and an Indian. All vanished in a suspected avalanche on May 26 before seven bodies were recovered in June. British mountain guide Martin Moran remains missing. (They may have been climbing without permission.)