Man Whose Mom Died Climbing World's Second Highest Peak Is Missing on Pakistan's 'Killer Mountain'
Search crews began looking for Tom Ballard — whose mother was killed while climbing the peak K2 in 1995 — on Thursday
An emergency rescue crew in Pakistan is desperately searching for a British mountaineer and his climbing partner after they went missing while scaling on Nanga Parbat which is known amongst climbers as “Killer Mountain.”
Tom Ballard, 30 — whose mom Alison Hargreaves died while climbing Mount Godwin-Austen, known as K2 in 1995 — had been climbing alongside Italian alpinist Daniele Nardi when the two lost contact after reaching a height of around 20,670 ft on Sunday, Sky News reported.
Ballard and Nardi have since vanished.
Plans to search the area where the climbers were last seen were initially called off amid extreme weather conditions and tensions between Pakistan and India, Sky News reported.
However, on Thursday, a post from Nardi’s Facebook page revealed that a helicopter search, which called on the help of experienced climber Ali Sadpara was conducted.
Sadpara is the only person to successfully climb “Killer Mountain” — given it’s name for the high number of fatalities — this past winter, BBC News reported.
“Ali Sadpara has announced that the 3 field tent invaded by snow has been detected by the helicopter. In the area, traces of avalanche have been identified on the slope which indicates the danger of the area,” the post read, which has been translated from Italian.
The statement added that the team is “waiting to receive additional photographic and video from the base camp and Pakistani aviation.”
Shortly after the initial post went live, a new update was shared on Nardi’s page, explaining that two additional helicopters “will take off, weather permitting, early in the morning from Skardu for the K2 basecamp” to continue the search.
K2, which is located on the border of China and Pakistan, is about 100 miles from Nanga Parbat. It is the mountain which Ballard’s mother was climbing when she was killed.
Up until his disappearance, Ballard had been sharing moments from his excursion on Instagram.
Ballard’s last post was on Feb. 19, which shows him skiing on “Killer Mountain.”
“This should be fun! #nangaparbat #winteralpinism,” Ballard captioned the shot.
Ballard’s love for the mountains came from his mother, who died when he was only six years old, The Guardian reported.
Hargreaves was 33 years old when she went missing while on K2 and her body was never found.
Prior to her death, Hargreaves became the first woman to climb Mount Everest without oxygen, The Guardian reported.
Mount Everest is the only mountain peak higher than K2, Sky News reported.
Ballard’s sister Kate recently spoke out on her brother’s whereabouts on Facebook. “Please join with me in positive thinking that my brother and Daniele will return safely,” Kate wrote, BBC News reported.
Before his “Killer Mountain” trek, Ballard was living in Italy’s Dolomites mountain range with his father James Ballard.