The Pithoragarh administration was awaiting instructions from the Centre on Tuesday to take steps to retrieve the bodies of five mountaineers IAF choppers spotted a day earlier near an unscaled peak adjoining the Nanda Devi East, an official said.
Eight mountaineers, including from the US, the UK and Australia, were reported missing after they left Munsiyari on May 13 to scale the peak but did not return to the base camp on the scheduled date on May 25. The team was led by British mountaineer Martin Moran to the 7,434-metre peak.
A search mission was launched and the Indian Air Force's help was sought to locate the climbers who likely perished in an avalanche.
IAF choppers spotted five bodies on Monday during its second day of aerial search.
"Thirty hours have passed since the bodies were sighted but we have not received any request so far to retrieve the bodies from any embassy or from the ministry," Pithoragarh District Magistrate V K Jogdande said.
The district administration has kept a team of 10 mountaineers from State Disaster Response Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police on standby to retrieve the bodies and is waiting for instructions from the Union government to proceed, he said.
"After finalising technical details, the team will be sent to the spot in two groups, both by helicopters as well as on foot through the trek route to retrieve the bodies," he said.
The magistrate said a report on the search-and-rescue mission has been sent to the Centre.
The five bodies were located on the basis of clues provided by four rescued climbers from the United Kingdom on Sunday.
The missing mountaineers comprised seven from the UK, the US and Australia, and a liaison officer from Delhi's Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
The have been identified as team leader Martin Moran, members John McLaren, Richard Payne, Rupert Havel (from the UK); Anthony Sudekum and Rachel Bimmel (from the US); Ruth Macrain (from Australia); and liaison officer Chetan Pandey.
Moran previously had scaled the peak twice, according to the district magistrate.
The route to the peak begins from Munsiyari, about 132 km from the district headquarters.