Authorities in India have released video taken by a group of international climbers shortly before they died on a Himalayan mountain.

Veteran British mountaineer Martin Moran was leading three other Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian on an expedition to climb Nanda Devi East.

Contact was lost with the group on May 26 and their bodies were recovered off the mountain late last month.

The video was released by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police on Twitter today with the caption: “Last visuals of the mountaineers’ team near the summit on unnamed peak near the #NandaDevi east.

“ITBP search team of mountaineers found the memory video device at 19K ft while they were searching the area where bodies were spotted.”

Police are using the video to piece together what happened to the group, with ITBP spokesman Vivek Kumar Pandey saying the group’s weight may have caused a ledge to give way, “triggering an avalanche”.

Sandwiched between India and China, Nanda Devi East is a twin peak of Nanda Devi, India’s second-highest mountain and the world’s 23rd highest. The two peaks are connected by a razor-sharp twoi-kilometre ridge at an elevation of 6666 metres.

Tenzing Norgay, the first man to climb Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary, recently described Nanda Devi East as the toughest peak in the Himalayas. Since so few have managed to climb it, the mountain has remained pristine, unlike the littered and congested Everest.