Missing Italian, British climbers found dead on Pakistan's 'killer mountain'
The bodies of a British and Italian mountaineer were found yesterday in northern Pakistan, nearly two weeks after the duo went missing while trying to climb Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan said yesterday. Italian national Daniele Nardi, 42, and Tom Ballard, a 30-year-old Briton, went missing on February 24, as they climbed the peak, also known as 'killer mountain'.
The 'killer mountain', which at 8,125 meters (26,660 feet) becomes the world's ninth-highest peak, is situated in the Gilgit-Baltisitan region in the Himalayas. Italian ambassador to Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo tweeted that the bodies of the two men had been identified from aerial photos.
With great sadness I inform that the search for 🇮🇹 @NardiDaniele and 🇬🇧 Tom Ballard is over as @AlexTxikon and the search team have confirmed that the silhouettes spotted on Mummery at about 5900 meters are those of Daniele and Tom. R.I.P. #NangaParbat pic.twitter.com/vBmsRKJgKC— Stefano Pontecorvo (@pontecorvoste) March 9, 2019
Foto made with a telescope by @AlexTxikon and his team on the #NangaParbat. @NardiDaniele is on the center left (orange vest) Tom Ballard at the center (blu vest) and their tent is visible next to Tom. Foto property of @AlexTxikon. pic.twitter.com/TvOSYwbS2L— Stefano Pontecorvo (@pontecorvoste) March 9, 2019
Ballard and Nardi were attempting a new route on the Mummery Rib, a steep and dangerous avalanche-prone area on the Himalayan peak. The pair had lost contact with the base camp, prompting a search by other fellow mountaineers in collaboration with the Pakistan Army, said Karar Haidri of Alpine Club of Pakistan, which organizes mountaineering and other mountain-related adventure activities.
The search for the duo was interrupted by bad weather. It also got delayed because rescue teams were forced to wait for permission to send up a helicopter after Pakistan had closed its airspace on Wednesday amid escalating tensions with India following the Pulwama attack on February 14. Haidri also shared a message sent by Nardi's family on the tragic occasion.
The family of Nardi, who had attempted to scale Nanga Parbat in winter several times, said, "We are devastated by pain; we inform you that Daniele and Tom's researches are completed. Part of them will remain forever at Nanga Parbat."
Ballard was the son of British climber Alison Hargreaves, the first woman to scale Mount Everest alone in 1955, and that too without bottled oxygen. She also soloed all the great north faces of the Alps in a single season. Alison died in 1995 at the age of 33 while descending K2, the second highest peak in the world, after successfully climbing Everest.