Nanga Parbat: bad weather hinders efforts to rescue Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard
Bad weather has hampered the rescue mission operations for mountaineers Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard, who have not been heard from since Sunday 24 February during their attempt to climb Nanga Parbat in winter. Helicopters with three Pakistani mountaineers (including Ali Sadpara) had left Skardu this morning but were forced to return due to bad weather before reaching Nanga Parbat base camp
Published at 9:35 on 28/02/2019
A search operation is underway for stranded climbers Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard, who have not been heard from since Sunday 24 February when the two mountaineers were above 6000 meters on Nanga Parbat. Although the airspace in Pakistan is officially closed due to the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, yesterday the Italian ambassador in Islamabad, Stefano Pontecorvo, managed to obtain the authorisation for helicopters to fly to Nanga Parbat and attempt to identify the position of the two climbers.
A few hours ago helicopters took off from Skardu with three Pakistani mountaineers, Ali Sadpara, Rahmat Ullah Baig and Karim Hayat on board. The aim was to make a first reconnaissance of the mountain and, if necessary, proceed from the ground. However, according to the latest information published by Anna Piunova of www.mountain.ru, due to bad weather the helicopters had to turn around before reaching Nanga Parbat base camp.
The Pakistani army had also permitted a flight to K2 base camp to pick up the mountaineers currently attempting the first winter ascent of the Karakorum giant, in order for them to join forces with the Pakistani mountaineers. Unfortunately though due to poor weather this has not been possible. Needless to say, these are tough times for everyone and the hope is that the weather will improve rapidly.