US News: Father of British climber missing on Pakistan's Killer Mountain reveals he is reliving the wait for news of his wife Alison Hargreaves who died on K2 in 1995 - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US NewsFather of British climber missing on Pakistan's Killer Mountain reveals he is reliving the wait for news of his wife Alison Hargreaves who died on K2 in 1995

07:15  02 march  2019
07:15  02 march  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

British climber whose mother died on notorious K2 in 1995 goes missing on Pakistan peak dubbed 'Killer Mountain' as search operation is delayed amid Kashmir crisis

British climber whose mother died on notorious K2 in 1995 goes missing on Pakistan peak dubbed 'Killer Mountain' as search operation is delayed amid Kashmir crisis Tom Ballard, 30, and Daniele Nardi, 42, last made contact via satellite phone while 20,000ft up Pakistan's Nanga Parbat mountain on Sunday and have not been heard from since.

Father of British climber missing on Pakistan's Killer Mountain reveals he is reliving the wait for news of his wife Alison Hargreaves who died on K2 in 1995 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Jim remains hopeful for his son despite temperatures plunging to minus 40C and winds at 200mph

The father of a British climber missing on Pakistan's Killer Mountain has revealed he is reliving the wait for news of his wife Alison Hargreaves who died on K2 in 1995.

Tom Ballard, 30, from Derbyshire, was reported missing on Nanga Parbat earlier this week with Italian Daniele Nardi, 42.

In 1995, Tom's mother died on the same treacherous peak having become famous as the first woman to scale Everest solo and without oxygen.

Jim Ballard, his father, told the Times: 'This takes me back to those days.'

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Temperatures on the mountain are said to be at least minus 40C, with winds ranging from 120mph to 200mph.

Jim told the paper he knows that finding his son alive will not be easy, 'like finding a green beer mat on the pitch at Twickenham.'

Initial search plans were prevented on Thursday when Pakistan closed its air space after it shot down two Indian military planes, but two army helicopters were eventually drafted in.

Father of British climber missing on Pakistan's Killer Mountain reveals he is reliving the wait for news of his wife Alison Hargreaves who died on K2 in 1995 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Alison Hargreaves and Jim Ballard with their children Tom and his sister Kate before her fatal descent of the mountain in 1995

Jim told the Times he would not give up: 'From the last phone call, seven to ten days is not unreasonable, even though he might be cold and not feeling too well.'

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Russian mountaineers on K2 offered to support the rescue mission on Friday, with flights scheduled after an agreement was reached with the Italian embassy and the Pakistani air force.

However the weather was deemed too dangerous, but Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo said he is hopeful the search can continue again on Saturday.

He said: 'What happened during the night is the Russian team with whom I have been in contact with found it was too dangerous to try (and find the men) on foot.

'The second option is Alex Txikon, the Basque climber who had two years ago been on Nanga Parbat, has a team of three people with him - among them a doctor - and he also has these three drones with cameras and equipment to pick up traces of life.

'Today the weather was certainly not flyable from Nanga Parbat to K2 and back.

Video: Tom Ballard braves Highlands' wind and snow in November 2018 (Dailymail)

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'Tomorrow we hope to do that - bring him over with his equipment and he will be based in basecamp and fly his drones over the area that both Nardi and Ballard could be found.

'If they find something then we'll have to go and get them.

'It is a complicated process. Yesterday we got special permission to fly.

'Unfortunately the helicopter with a Pakistani mountaineer on board could not find any traces. Today it was not possible, we'll try tomorrow.'

Mr Ballard moved to Scotland in the same year his mother, Alison Hargreaves, died on K2 when she was 33.

Sandy Allan, a family friend of Mr Ballard's from Newtonmore in the Highlands, has climbed Nanga Parbat twice and said he is worried about the 'competent mountaineer'.

Father of British climber missing on Pakistan's Killer Mountain reveals he is reliving the wait for news of his wife Alison Hargreaves who died on K2 in 1995 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Tom Ballard, 30, was reported missing earlier this week on the notorious K2 peak in the Pakistani Himalayas

He told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme: 'I knew Tom when he was younger and I'd climbed with him and his mother, Tom's an exceptional climber, he's not done a great deal in the Himalayas but he's done enough to know how to look after himself very well.

'Some people thought Tom was a little bit of a loner but he climbed to a very high standard and I suppose a lot of his routes were quite esoteric.

'But he's a normal human being with a passion for climbing.

'It's a lot colder and that makes it incredibly uncomfortable but if you're a climber like Tom, it's one of the big challenges for people to do so I can understand why he'd want to go there.'

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