British climber missing on Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain’

Tom Ballard (Photo: Facebook)
Tom Ballard (Photo: Facebook)

A BRITISH climber has gone missing while ascending a peak in Pakistan’s Nanga Parbat, nicknamed Killer Mountain.

Tom Ballard and Italian climber Daniele Nardi have not been heard from since Sunday (24).

The pair had ascended to around 6,300 metres on the 8,100-metre mountain when they lost contact with the ground team.

Initially, the lack of communication was believed to be due to weak signal coverage in cloudy conditions. But the pair could not be reached even after weather cleared.

Search operations have been delayed due to tensions between Pakistan and India.

A statement from Nardi’s team said the “situation was worrying” because bad weather is forecast for the next few days.

They said they were “waiting for news from base camp” and Pakistani mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpara, who climbed the mountain two years ago, was on standby to help with search operations.

Nanga Parbat is a difficult challenge for any climber and it earned its “Killer Mountain” moniker due to the high number of deaths on its slopes.

Ballard is the son of Alison Hargreaves, the first woman to reach the top of Everest unaided in 1995. She died the same year during a descent from the peak of K2 in the Himalayas.

Ballard is the first person to climb all six major north faces of the Alps in one winter solo.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “Our staff are in contact with the Pakistani authorities regarding a British man who has been reported missing.”