Bodies of two European climbers found on Pakistan′s ′Killer Mountain′ | News | DW | 09.03.2019
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Bodies of two European climbers found on Pakistan's 'Killer Mountain'

The Italian ambassador to Pakistan has confirmed that rescuers have found the bodies of an Italian and British climber on the slopes of Nanga Parbat. It is unlikely that their bodies will be recovered.

The Italian ambassador to Pakistan said on Saturday that the bodies of a British and Italian climber who went missing while climbing Pakistan's "Killer Mountain" have been found.

Mountaineers Tom Ballard of the UK and Daniele Nardi of Italy were attempting a rare winter ascent of the 8,126-meter (26,660-foot) Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas. It is considered one of the hardest mountaineering feats in the world.

"With great sadness, I inform that the search for @NardiDaniele and Tom Ballard is over as...the search team have confirmed that the silhouettes spotted on Mummery at about 5,900 meters are those of Daniele and Tom. R.I.P. #NangaParbat," Italian envoy Stefano Pontecorvo tweeted.

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.

A sign saying Pakistan Nanga Parbat - Killer Mountain (picture alliance/AP Photo/M. Zaman Kazmi)

Nanga Parbat, known as Killer Mountain

The discovery came after an extensive search by a team of Spanish climbers with the help of Pakistani mountaineer Rehmatullah Baig, who was climbing with the men before he turned back.

The search was delayed because rescue teams were forced to wait for permission to send up a helicopter after Pakistan closed its airspace on Wednesday in response to escalating tensions with India.

The two climbers were last heard from on February 24, when Nardi, an experienced climber with a high profile in Italy, called his wife.

A difficult mountain

Ballard is the son of the famed British climber Alison Hargreaves, who became the first woman to climb Mount Everest unaided in 1995. However, she died later the same year while descending from the summit of Pakistan's K2, the world's second-highest mountain.

A man shows pictures of Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi (picture alliance/AP Photo/B. K. Bangash)

Ballard and Nardi, right to left, were last heard from in February

The first successful winter ascent of Nanga Parbat was made in February 2016. A Polish climber died on the mountain in January 2018, but his female French climbing partner was saved by climbers who had been airlifted from K2 to conduct a daring night-time rescue mission.

In June 2017, a Spaniard and an Argentinian were killed in an avalanche while trying to reach the summit.

av/sms (AFP, Reuters)

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