Search operation for Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard on Nanga Parbat continues
Alex Txikon and his team plus drones should arrive at Nanga Parbat base camp today to resume the search for Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard, almost a week after the last contact with the two mountaineers attempting to climb the Mummery Rib in winter.
Update at 16:00 (20:00 Pakistan time) on 03/03/2019
Unfortunately, the helicopters that had taken off from Skardu with Alex Txikon and his team were forced to return due to bad weather that stopped them from reaching Nanga Parbat BC. They will try again tomorrow!
This is the statement published on the FB page of Daniele Nardi: "With heavy heart we inform you that the Pakistani helicopters have not managed to transport the rescue team led by Alex Txikon to the Nanga Parbat base camp because of the heavy snowfall that started to to fall on the mountain once again. Given the weather and the safety risks involved, the pilots decided to land at Jaglot and eventually return to Skardu. A new attempt is scheduled for tomorrow, weather conditions permitting. "
Published at 12:30 (16:30 Pakistan time) on 03/03/2019
Alex Txikon, his team and gear (including drones) were picked up by two helicopters from K2 Base Camp and are being flown to Nanga Parbat Base Camp. According to the official statement published on the FB page of Daniele Nardi "Thanks to Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo and the precious help of the Pakistani Air Force, this morning at 12.30 local time, two Pakistani military helicopters received final authorization to take off and fly to K2 base camp. The helicopters flew in high-alert mode seeing that the K2 area is located on the border with India. The pilots hugged the Baltoro moraine until they reached base camp and picked up Alex Txikon with his team and equipment and then immediately returned to the safe area beyond the glacier."
The helicopters after refueling in Skardu "will make a less tense flight southwards, then continue within Pakistan where Nanga Parbat is located to reach base camp and possibly camp 1. Here the cooks, the liaison officer and Ali Sadpara, with the other two Pakistani mountaineers, have arranged the landing zone. "
The next few hours and tomorrow will be crucial. The entire mountaineering world, and not only, is waiting with baited breath. In the meantime, yesterday Daniele Nardi's friends set up a fundraiser campaign to support the research operations.