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Tom Ballard: Search for missing climbers 'not over'

Tom Ballard: Search for missing climbers 'not over'

Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi before their last contact with their team
A senior diplomat has said the search for two missing climbers is continuing despite reports it had ended. Briton Tom Ballard and Italian Daniele Nardi last made contact from Nanga Parbat in Pakistan at an altitude of about 20,700ft (6,300m), 11 days ago.Karrar Haidri, from Pakistan's Alpine Club, said on Wednesday it had been a "painful decision" to end the search.However, Stefano Pontecorvo, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan, said the search was ongoing. He said they were not at the point of ending the search yet and it had never been called off.
Tom Ballard has been described as one of the world's best climbers
"Until they tell me that there is no scope to continue I'd say that together with the family I'd encourage them to go forward."If we come to a point in which everything possible has been done and nothing has been found, at that point it will be up to the families - although advised by us - to call it off. We're not there yet," he said.According to Mr Nardi's Facebook page, which is updated by his support team, Spanish climber Alex Txikon has identified "two silhouettes" or "shapes" on the mountain from the base camp.It not clear what the shapes are, but the helicopter team will investigate them more closely later, a post said.
Analysis: BBC World Affairs reporter Richard Galpin
Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest peak in the world, is known as "Killer Mountain"
The rescue team in Pakistan is expected to make another attempt to scour the mountain for any trace of them.The two climbers went missing 11 days ago on what's known as the Killer Mountain and nothing has been heard from them since.The rescue mission was expected to finish on Wednesday and the base camp was dismantled.But members of the rescue team are now due to be taken high up the mountain by helicopter to look at areas they'd not searched previously.The BBC's been told they will take high resolution photographs and video which can then be analysed.The team leader, a Spanish climber, is to leave the area soon to return to his winter expedition on K2.
@RgalpinBBC
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Tom Ballard: Search for missing climbers 'not over'

@RgalpinBBC
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Tom Ballard's mother Alison Hargreaves on her descent from the top Everest, which she reached unaided in 1995
Mr Ballard, originally from Belper in 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.Ahead of her death, he had moved to Fort William in Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands with his sister Kate and father Jim.Last week, experienced Pakistani mountaineer Ali Sadpara, who was in an army helicopter, announced seeing a tent "invaded by snow" and "traces of an avalanche".
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Belper
Fort William
Pakistan
Mountaineering
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