Tom Ballard: Thousands raised for missing climbers

Tom Ballard and Daniele NardiImage copyright Daniele Nardi
Image caption Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi before their last contact with their team

About 100,000 euros (£86,000) have been raised to continue the search for two climbers who went missing on a peak in Pakistan seven days ago.

Briton Tom Ballard and Italian Daniele Nardi last made contact from Nanga Parbat on 24 February.

Tensions between Pakistan and India and poor flying weather have delayed rescue attempts.

The cash will keep funding a helicopter team, which is said to cost about 50,000 euros (£43,000) a day.

Mr Ballard, originally from Belper, Derbyshire, is the son of Alison Hargreaves, who died descending from the summit of K2 in 1995 – the same year she became the first woman to conquer Everest unaided.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Tom Ballard’s mother Alison Hargreaves on her descent from the top of Mount Everest, which she reached in 1995

A search for the 30-year-old, who moved to Scotland in 1995, and Mr Nardi, only began on Thursday after delays due to airspace restrictions.

A three-person tent “invaded by snow” was spotted the same day.

Stefano Pontecorvo, the Italian ambassador in Pakistan, tweeted on Sunday morning that a break in the weather should allow for the search to start.

Rescue attempts have been frustrated, largely due to the weather, which has meant the helicopter and high altitude drones cannot fly.

Friends have raised 98,417 euros (£84,764) which will go towards the daily cost of the rescue.

Image copyright Montane
Image caption Tom Ballard’s sponsor Montane said they were not giving up hope

Unused donations will go to schools in Pakistan which Mr Nardi supported.

Kate Ballard, Mr Ballard’s sister, said on Facebook: “To those beautiful humans that have asked how they can help.

“Helicopters, especially in the high mountains of Pakistan are expensive.

“Anything you can [donate] will add flight time to the rescue.”

Nanga Parbat is the world’s ninth highest mountain and a number of deaths have earned it the nickname of “killer mountain”.

Image copyright Pakistan Embassy

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