A group of Russian mountaineers willing to search for two missing climbers, an Italian and a Briton, on Himalayan peak Nanga Parbat have decided to cancel the mission because of the high risk of avalanche. Previously four Russian mountaineers led by Vassily Pivtsov volunteered to start a rescue operation, but weather conditions have changed drastically.
Italian Daniele Nardi and Briton Tom Ballard, who were attempting a rare winter ascent of the world’s ninth highest peak, were last heard from on February 25 at Camp 4.
A plan B offered by Basque climber Alex Txikon, who had made available three special drones that can fly at high altitude, was also abandoned because of an inability of a helicopter trip to the area, sources said later.
AMENDED 1/03/2019 23:35 (GMT+1)
“The weather conditions have worsened, there is still high risk of avalanche, so Pivtsov group will not undertake the rescue operation tomorrow”, – the spokesperson Elena Laletina (St.Petersburg, Russia) said to Europe Diplomatic. – We know both of them, and worry very much about Tom and Daniele, who has a little baby waiting for his father at home”, she added. However Laletina declined to answer if and when the rescue operation will resume, explaining the volatile weather situation does not allow to make any predictions.
The video of avalanche on Mummery Spur, Nanga Parbat has been posted by the spokesperson of Pivtsov group, Elena Laletina on her page.
Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi last made contact from an altitude of about 6,300m (20,669ft) on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, February 25.
Daniele Nardi (42) an Italian mountaineer. He has five eight thousand, 25 mountaineering expeditions active, more open in alpine style, and is famous for being the first mountaineer in history, born “below the Po”, to have climbed Everest and K2, the two highest peaks in the world. He was also the first mountaineer in the world able to climb the Sperone Mummery (6,450 meters) of Nanga Parbat in the middle of winter in February 2013.
Tom Ballard (30) a British climber, first to complete a solo ascendance to all six major north faces of the Alps in one winter. His mother Alison Hargreaves, was the first woman to reach the top of Everest unaided. She perished without trace in 1995 aged 33, while descending from K2 peak in Himalaya.
AMENDED: Bodies of both climbers were found. Stefano Pontecorvo, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan, confirmed Spanish climber Alex Txikon found the bodies on the Mummery Spur trail