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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Known Spanish climber Alberto Zerain and his climbing partner, Mariano Galvan from Argentina, have been reported as missing on Nanga Parbat.
Zerain’s team announced on 27, June, that communication with the climber had been lost on 24, June. According to a statement on their Twitter account, the team believes that because of the number of days the climbers have spent on the Mazeno route, they believe their radio equipment has lost battery.