First Youth Ski Mountaineering Olympics Debuts in 2020

Bank in 2017, we announced the inclusion of ski mountaineering in the Winter Olympic Games. At the time, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board announced that they would be including ski mountaineering in the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games – Lausanne. That time is upon us and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding preparations. 

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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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Base Camp Magazine Winter Break

Base Camp Magazine is announcing its Winter Break for the 2018 year. We will begin publishing content again starting March 01, 2019.

As always, we thank everyone for their readership and will be responding to all of your emails and correspondence as usual. Starting the last week of February, we will be publishing our list of content for the starting half of 2019.

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Vanessa O’Brien Thinks the Nanga Parbat Rescue Could Have Climbed Higher to Save Tomasz Mackiewicz

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.

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One Saved, One Perishes on Nanga Parbat During Winter Expedition

PAKISTAN – One climber has been rescued from Nanga Parbat and one perished during separate winter expeditions on the “Killer Mountain.”

French mountaineer Elisabeth Revol was rescued off of the mountain after an ill-fated storm trapped her and her climbing partner above 25,000 ft (7620 m).

Her climbing partner, Polish native Tomasz “Tomek” Mackiewicz had to be left behind due to his severe injuries and physical condition.

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Crew of 180 to Depart to Antarctica on Scientific Expedition

The mission of the 59th Antarctic Expedition is to study ice cores of exceptional age; the crew hopes to reach depths of ice that are older than previously recorded as having been studied. In 2007, a Japanese mission took samples from ice cores that aged around 720,000-years-old; the team studied them in their Dome Fuji Station located in inland Antarctica. These cores were located at a depth of 3,035 meters. 

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Antarctica and Cold Environment Expeditions Season Starts on BCM

Now, we’re moving into our Antarctica and Cold-Environment Expedition Season. This is where we feature climbers, explorers and expeditions traveling to Antarctica and other environments that are naturally cold year-round. 

We have a lot planned for this long season that will stretch into the end of winter 2017. Included in our publication calendar is our well-awaited coverage of Second Lieutenant Scott Sears’ solo expedition to the South Pole and a feature on Dr. Ash Routen’s expedition to Lake Baikal in Siberia where he will be leading a team of 3 Brits across one of the world’s most interesting bodies of water. 

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First Successful Summits on K2 Since 2014

There hasn’t been a successful summit on the King of Mountains, K2, since 2014. However, this changed today when one expedition, led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, made it to the summit and reported their successful assault through social media. 

Roughly six hours ago, Mingma G., head of Dreamers Destination, reported on his Facebook page that he and 11 other climbers had successfully made it to the summit. He wrote:

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28/07 UPDATE: Fredrik Sträng K2 Summit 2017 | Summit Abort and Reattempt Through Cecen Route

On 28 July, Fredrik returned to Base Camp after aborting the ascent at aprox. 7,400 meters due to bad weather and dangerous conditions that included little visibility, waist-deep snow and avalanches.

On 28 July at 8:00 P.M. EST, Fredrik’s contact updated his progress by stating that Fredrik and his partner would attempt the summit again. He will now approach the summit via the Cescen Route due to “bad conditions on Abruzzi.”

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Remembering Alberto Zerain

Beloved Spanish alpinist Alberto Zerain died in a tragic avalanche on Nanga Parbat this week. Though he was not able to return from the mountain in this life, his memory has found a new home in the hearts among those who appreciated his attitude toward the dare of a summit and those who admired his accomplishments. 

Zerain was climbing Nanga Parbat as part of the 2x14x8000 project, which aimed to see 14 of the world’s 8,000 m. peaks climbed twice. While on the Mazeno Ridge, Zerain gave his last update to the Base Camp team on 24, June. Shortly after, his team lost contact with him and would announce on 27, June, that they believed he and Mariano Galvan had lost power on their radio communicators. 

On 01, July 2x14x8000 announced that a helicopter search of the Mazeno Ridge revealed signs of a massive avalanche and they did not believe there was a possibility of survivors. On this day, the search for Zerain and Galvan was ended and the mountaineering world began to mourn, finally letting go of the hope they had so desperately tried to cling to in belief that he would be found alive.

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