After finding Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi on Nanga Parbat, Alex Txikon has continued his quest for K2. On 14 March 2019, he reached Camp 1, leaving an audio message on his tracker.
K2 is regarded as one of the most dangerous mountains in the world, if not the most dangerous. Known as the King of Mountains, the death ratio on here is higher than on Everest, and a Winter ascent here has proved to be virtually impossible.
This year, Alex Txikon is attempting to make a Winter ascent of K2 possible. Above all other expeditions, his recent sacrifices on Nanga Parbat leading the search effort for Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi have elevated his endeavor to one we all wish to see accomplished.
Alex Txikon’s Search for Tom Ballard & Daniele Nardi
This month Txikon lead a search for two climbers who had gone missing on Nanga Parbat while they were attempting to summit the mountain via the Mummery Spur. These climbers were two beloved members of the alpinist community, Italian Daniele Nardi and British Tom Ballard.
Ballard had a somewhat personal connection to K2. His mother was Alison Hargreaves. Many might know her as the first woman to summit Mount Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen. More impressive, she successfully scaled the North Face of the Eiger while she was six months pregnant with Tom. In 1995, Hargreaves disappeared on K2.
As he grew, all Tom ever wanted to do was be a climber. He became known as the King of the Alps and often joked that he climbed the Eiger before he was born.
On 09 March 2019, Txikon announced that the two silhouettes he had initially spotted during the rescue effort, using a high-magnification telescope, were the bodies of Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi. With that, the search was over.
From here on out, Txikon was headed to K2 to continue his dream of summiting the mountain in Winter. Behind him rallied a mass of support for his selfless sacrifice alongside other rescuers like Ali Sadpara in the search for Ballard and Nardi.
Alex Txikon Arrives on K2
With promises of a fulfilled expedition, Txikon arrived on K2 on 10 March 2019. The search for Tom and Daniele was over and now Alex set off for the Summit of K2.
〽️〽️ We are home, we are already at K2 Base Camp! Thank you very much for your support, you are incredible!
❄WINTER TOP APPEAL ❄ #K2winterAlexTxikon#WinterTopAppeal pic.twitter.com/v5NLyp59G0
— Alex Txikon (@AlexTxikon) March 10, 2019
Alex Txikon’s K2 Winter Top Appeal Expedition began on 28 December. The expected finish date is 31 March. Along the way, Alex reminds us of what it means to be humble and graces us with regular updates from the mountain. Many of these updates are written in several languages so everyone can follow along. But that is just Alex, always in-tune with the needs of others and kind in a way that promotes inclusivity. After all, we are all one people.
On 14 March, Alex reached Camp 1 and left an update for us all in Spanish via Race Tracker.
We’ve left Base Camp around 9:45, we’ve reached Camp 1 around 3:50. And well, the day hasn’t been the best in the world. But we are here and have been able to mount the tents. We are in our tents right now.
At the time of this update, Alex’s last position was:
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