A British climber and his Italian counterpart have gone missing while trying to find a new route up
Tom Ballard, 30, the son of famous mountaineer Alison Hargreaves, and 42-year-old Daniele Nardi last made contact with their loved ones on Sunday.
At the time they were around 20,000ft up Nanga Parbat mountain and nothing has been heard from them since.
Tom Ballard, 30 (left), and 42-year-old Daniele Nardi (right) have been missing for the last three days while attempting to climb Pakistan’s ‘killer mountain’ (pictured during the climb)
Ballard’s mother was famous climber Alison Hargreaves (pictured with him as a child) who died while descending the world’s second-highest mountain K2 in 1995
Pakistani mountaineer Ali Sadpara, who previously conquered the same peak in winter, said he is prepared to mount a search operation, but is being delayed amid tensions with India.
Airspace around the mountain was temporarily closed on Wednesday amid tit-for-tat attacks between the Pakistani and Indian air forces.
Ballard and Nardi last made contact with loved ones on Sunday and nothing has been heard from them since
Nardi last made contact with his wife on Sunday to report that he and Ballard were holed up along Mummery Rib on the Diamir side of the mountain,
But they have not made contact with their ground team in three days, and concern for their welfare is mounting as bad weather closes in.
Ballard is well-known in mountaineering circles, not least because his mother was the first woman to solo-climb Everest without oxygen in 1995.
The feat was part of her attempt to climb the world’s three highest mountains unaided in the same year, but in August she was killed descending from the summit of K2, the world’s second-highest.
Hargreaves was blown off a ridge by 260mph winds after being struck by a hurricane and her body has never been found. Ballard was aged six at the time.
Despite this, he followed in his mother’s footsteps and become the first person to climb the great north faces of the Alps solo in winter solo and in the same season.
Hargreaves had previously climbed all the faces in a single season, though not all of them in winter.
Ballard (pictured during the climb) is not an experienced altitude climber, but made a name for himself by becoming the first person to climb the great north faces of the Alps in a single season and in winter
Nardi is a more experienced altitude climber having made several attempts to climb Nanga Parbat during winter, each of them unsuccessful
However, Ballard has limited experience of altitude climbing, raising fears over his disappearance.
By contrast, Nardi is an experienced altitude climber and has attempted to climb Nanga Parbat during winter on several occasions, none of them successful.
Nanga Parbat became known as the ‘killer mountain’ after a series of attempts to climb it during the 1930s ended in the deaths of dozens of climbers.
The most infamous accident came in 1937 when seven Germans and nine Sherpas were killed by an avalanche.
Pakistani climbers have agreed to mount a search operation for Ballard and Nardi but have been delayed after airspace around the mountain was shut due to clashes with India (pictured, an Indian air force jet shot down over Kashmir)