A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dolomites make up a vast mountain range in Northeastern Italy. They are a treasure for climbers and the scientific community.
When we think of the Dolomites, we think of the late Tom Ballard, who felt the most at home in this Italian paradise. Stretching across 350,650 acres (141,903 ha.) of rocky summits, this mountain range has been appealing to mountaineers and scientists for decades.
We’ve compiled a list of must-read books about climbing disasters everyone should check out. From the highly anticipated The Summit book of 2014, to classics like Denali’s Howl, these books are a must-have.
Climate change is affecting the global landscape of mountains. Melting glaciers and the changing geography poses potential risks to climbers and the future of mountaineering. Global landscapes are changing fast.
How much do you know about Mount Everest? We start learning about Mount Everest from the moment we can understand speech. Through random sayings, news segments in the background about a disaster… it seems to always come up. But how much do you really know about Mount Everest?
On 09 March, the news was official. We had lost Tom Ballard on Nanga Parbat. In the days that followed, the world seemed just a little smaller. Worldwide, we had to come to terms with the idea that the growth, of what we expected to be, one of the greatest mountaineers was permanently stunted.
On 09 March, the search for Tom Ballard and his climbing partner, Daniele Nardi, was officially called off. The previous sightings of “silhouettes” during the reconnaissance operation were confirmed to be the bodies of the two climbers.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the search and rescue operation of Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi was officially called off on 09 March 2019.
The rescue operation had been ongoing since the climbers’ last communication on 24 February. Both climbers were on an expedition attempting to climb the notorious Mummery Spur on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. Since the route’s creation, it has remained unclimbed.
On 06 March, the Nardi team revealed that Alex Txikon had identified two “silhouettes” through a high powered telescope. The team was prepared to confirm the sightings using the assistance of a helicopter flyby. On the scheduled day, Pakistan recalled the helicopter for military operations. It would be another two days before the identification could be completed.
On 09 March, Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo announced on Twitter that the “silhouettes” previously identified were, in fact, those of Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi.
In a surprising update to the Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard Rescue operation, Alex Txikon identifies two Silhouettes on Nanga Parbat from Base Camp. The search is continuing.
According to reports, the identification was made at dawn; and helicopters are scheduled to arrive soon to continue the exploration of the mountain. The report stated that the search would continue along the Mummery Spur route. The team hopes to get closer observations of images they witnessed through a telescope.
Often misinterpreted as an easy climbing mountain, Kilimanjaro offers multiple routes with difficulty fluctuating between being for the casual mountaineer and more experienced ones. With its main peak reaching 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), the climb is nothing to be taken lightly.
K2, the King of Mountains, is the most treacherous in the world of mountaineering. It has never been climbed in the winter, although many expeditions have tried including the 2018 Krzysztof Wielicki expedition that also rescued Elisabeth Revol on Nanga Parbat in the middle of their K2 expedition. Other expeditions attempted it in 1988, 2003, 2012 and 2015, and 2019.
If you’re looking to learn more about the 1996 Everest Disaster, you can watch these great documentaries. For an entire account of the 1996 Everest Disaster, references and further reading, read our article…
The 2008 K2 Disaster was a highly publicized climbing disaster that resulted in the deaths of 11 climbers on 01 August of that year. The tragedy also heightened scrutiny of safety precautions and climber responsibility during expeditions.
The 2008 K2 Disaster was brought on by a series of events, some preventable, some not. but what it had in common with many mountaineering disasters, including the 1996 Everest Disaster, was the continuation of a summit push past the safe turnaround time.
In a controversial statement on Twitter, Vanessa O’Brien revealed that she felt the Nanga Parbat rescue volunteers could have climbed higher to retrieve Tomasz Mackiewicz.
On Friday, 26 January, Tomasz Mackiewicz and Elisabeth Revol made a successful assault on the summit of Nanga Parbat during their Winter Ascent Expedition. Prior to their attempt, Nanga Parbat had only been summited once in the winter in 2014.
This month, the star of the end of our September month is Wendy Ong, a Spinal Cord Injury survivor who has defeated the odds and continued to pursue her passions of climbing and skiing some of the most difficult passes.
“Certain that Bob had me, I unclipped from the anchors, leaned back – and then free-fell nearly 200 feet to the ground.” I kept telling myself, “Don’t close your eyes Wendy, don’t close your eyes.”
Wendy Ong is the only person to have fallen nearly 200 feet (70m), survive, go on to rock climb, ice-climb, and ski at high levels with a T-10 Spinal Cord Injury; survive sepsis and climb her hardest trad route as a paraplegic (5.12- Cloud Tower, Red Rocks, Nevada) a few months later; ski her way across North America; and be the only para to ski, ice-climb, and rock climb in the space of less than ten days.