Search for British climber missing on Pakistani mountain set to resume

A search for a British climber missing on the world’s ninth highest mountain is poised to resume after being hampered by adverse weather.

Tom Ballard, who was born in Derbyshire but had moved to the Highlands, was climbing Nanga Parbat in Pakistan with Italian Daniele Nardi when they lost contact a week ago.

Tensions over Kashmir and bad weather hit plans to search the 8,126-metre (26,660ft) peak, nicknamed the Killer Mountain, but now a search party is being flown in.

Pakistani army helicopters are bringing in Basque climber Alex Txikon and his team from K2, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan tweeted.

Stefano Pontecorvo hailed the move as a “big step forward” and said the weather has cleared and should allow the search to start.

Mr Txikon plans to fly high-altitude drones over the area where the two climbers went missing.

Earlier, Mr Pontecorvo said both the missing men are “tough guys”, adding: “We hope for a miracle … and just try our best to find them.”

Initial search plans on Thursday were prevented when Pakistan closed its air space after it shot down two Indian military planes.

Snow, clouds and low visibility forced proposed searches on Friday and Saturday to be called off.

Mr Ballard moved to Scotland in the same year his mother, Alison Hargreaves, died on K2 when she was 33, months after becoming the first woman to conquer Everest unaided.

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