Snow scuppers search for British climber missing in Pakistan

A search party looking for a British climber missing on the world’s ninth highest mountain has been unable to reach the peak due to heavy snow.

Tom Ballard, who was born in Derbyshire and later 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 8,126m (26,660ft) peak, nicknamed the Killer Mountain.

A Spanish search party has been unable to reach the base camp due to heavy snow, AP reports.

Karrar Haidri, secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, said Basque mountaineer Alex Txikon and his three colleagues could not reach the base at Nanga Parbat and will try again on Monday.

Weather permitting, drone flights will take place on Monday morning, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan tweeted.

Stefano Pontecorvo said the rescue team plans to fly to base camp then.

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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