Published: Sun, March 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Italian envoy confirms deaths of 2 climbers in Pakistan

Italian envoy confirms deaths of 2 climbers in Pakistan

Rescuers have found the bodies of two climbers missing for nearly a fortnight on a mountain in Pakistan.

Italian ambassador to Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo tweeted that the bodies of the two men had been identified from aerial photos.

Nardi and Ballard lost contact with the base camp on February 24 while trying to climb the 8,126-metre summit, known as the killer mountain because of the unsafe conditions.

The first successful winter ascent of Nanga Parbat was made in February 2016.

Karrar Haidri, the secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, said the search team, headed by Spaniard Alex Txikon and experienced Pakistani mountaineer Ali Sadpara familiar with the peak, went on foot and used drones to search for the climbers.

The discovery followed an extensive search by a team of Spanish climbers with the help of Pakistani mountaineer Rehmatullah Baig, who was climbing with the men before turning back. He said foul weather hindered their efforts.

While the bodies were hard to reach, rescuers promised that everything would be done to recover them.

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Ballard is the son of the famed British climber Alison Hargreaves, who became the first woman to climb Mount Everest unaided in 1995.

Nardi had attempted the Nanga Parbat summit several times in the past.

Hundreds of mountaineers, a lot of them from Europe, try to scale half a dozen peaks in Pakistan every year in summer, but only a few make the attempt in winter.

It is understood that the bodies of the climbers are at a high altitude on Nanga Parbat's treacherous Mummery route, which has not been successfully climbed, meaning that their bodies are unlikely to be recovered.

"We are broken by pain; we inform you that the research by Daniele and Tom has been completed", Nardi's team posted on Facebook.

The two climbers who were attempting to scale Pakistan's Nanga Parbat went missing two weeks ago. She added: "There are or will never be words suitable to describe the void you left". In more recent years, Ballard had been living in Italy's Dolomites mountain range with his father.

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