Nepal Closes Mount Everest Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Amid growing concerns regarding COVID-19, Nepal has decided to shut down access to Mount Everest and to the rest of its Himalayan Mountains. As of 13 March 2020, the spring climbing season in Nepal is closed.

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The Dolomites: A Treasure for Climbers and Science

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.

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How Much Do You Know About Mount Everest?

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?

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The Seven Summits According to Richard Bass

The Richard Bass Seven Summits List is a list of the seven tallest mountains in each of the seven continents. Unlike Messner’s List, it only references mainland Australia, vs all of Oceania.

The Bass List comprises Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Kosciuszko and Vinson.

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The Search for Tom Ballard & Daniele Nardi Officially Over. Bodies Found

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.

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Tom Ballard & Daniele Nardi Rescue Update: Two Silhouettes Identified. Search is Not Over

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.

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Tom Ballard, Son of Alison Hargreaves, Disappears on Nanga Parbat

The acclaimed son of Alison Hargreaves has disappeared on Nanga Parbat while on an expedition in late February with Daniele Nardi.

The last time the pair were heard from was on Sunday, 24 February 2019.

Tom Ballard is the son of Alison Hargreaves, first woman to summit Mount Everest during a solo climb without supplemental oxygen. She died 3 months later on K2 at the age of 33. Ballard is 30.

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K2 Remains Unconquered in Winter (2020)

For decades, mountaineers have attempted to climb K2 in winter, with the most recent being Apricot Tours in 2020. They have all failed, but data shows promise that it can be done.

Many expeditions have tried including the 2018 Krzysztof Wielicki expedition that rescued Elisabeth Revol on Nanga Parbat. Other expeditions were attempted it in 1988, 2003, 2012 and 2015, and 2019.

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The 2008 K2 Disaster

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.

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