Missing climbers' bodies found in Pakistan

Missing climbers' bodies found in Pakistan

The bodies of a British climber and his Italian partner have been found on a mountain in Pakistan a fortnight after they went missing.

Soon after Italian climber Daniele Nardi and British mountaineer Tom Ballard went missing, Spanish mountaineer Alex Txikon and other climbers gave up their own winter summit attempt on K2 and volunteered to search for the missing climbers.

The discovery comes two weeks after the pair, who were climbing Nanga Parbat, last made contact with their team.

Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo said that the search team has confirmed that silhouettes spotted on the mountain were the bodies of Mr Ballard and Mr Nardi and that the search is over.

She died on K2, the world's second-highest mountain, aged 33, months after becoming the first woman to reach the peak of Everest unaided.

Mr Ballard was born in Derbyshire and moved to the Scottish Highlands in 1995 around the same time he lost his mother Alison Hargreaves. It is considered one of the hardest mountaineering feats in the world.

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Searches for the men began days after they last made contact with their team, but these were delayed because of bad weather and tensions between Pakistan and India. Later in the week, "silhouettes" of the climbers were spotted, which officials now confirm to be "shapes" from Ballard and Nardi's bodies.

Mr Nardi's team posted a tribute on their offical Facebook page.

The club said the two veteran climbers were possible hit by an avalanche on Camp II, some 6,000 metres high on Nanga Parbat's Diamir face.

They added: "The family remembers Tom as a competent alpinist and courageous friend of Daniele".

"We like to remember how you really are: in love with life, adventurous, scrupulous, courageous, loyal, attentive to detail and always present in times of need". Two Pakistani mountaineers had joined the pair on the expedition but turned back because they thought the weather conditions too unsafe.

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