Nardi and Ballard Search: Alex Txikon & Co. En Route from K2

8000ers K2
Chopper landing on winter Nanga Parbat Base Camp
File image of a helicopter landing at Nanga Parbat Base Camp, taken last year during the Revol & Manckiewicz rescue operation.

Today, a helicopter from the Pakistani Air Force managed to fetch Alex Txikon and his partners Felix Criado, Doctor Josep Sanchis and drone pilot Bruno Barrilero from K2 Base Camp. They will help search for Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard, missing above 6,000m on Nanga Parbat’s Diamir Face since February 24.

The nerve-wrecking pickup skirted the border with India, in the middle of the latest unrest between the two countries. The helicopter refueled twice, including back at Skardu, where it was forced to overnight, due to continuing bad weather on Nanga Parbat. On Monday morning, it will shuttle the searchers to either Base Camp or Camp 1, where Pakistani searchers and the BC team have stomped the soft snow down into a landing pad.

The group includes Pakistani mountaineer Ali Sadpara, who has climbed Nanga Parbat three times, including the first winter ascent. He is planning to return to the mountain this summer, supporting Swiss climber Mark Batard.

Alex Txikon and Ali Sadpara in winter Everest base Camp, 2018

File image of Alex Txikon (left) and Ali Sadpara last winter, during their attempt on Everest. Photo: Alex Txikon

Meanwhile, friends of Daniele Nardi have started a crowd-funding campaign, to raise the resources needed to continue the search-and-rescue operation. So far, they have raised over $120,000. The helicopter search is said to cost about $50,000 a day.

Related stories:

Weather Again Delays Search

No Sign of Climbers, Avalanche Risk Too High for Searchers

Wrecked Tent and Avalanche Debris Spotted on Nanga Parbat

Nardi and Ballard Missing on Nanga Parbat

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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4 Comments on "Nardi and Ballard Search: Alex Txikon & Co. En Route from K2"

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Pepe L

Its a very human effort but useless

David Madureira

never useless when it is an human in risk of life ! we all appreciate this world , i think you think as me!

Damien Francois

Given the fact that they have been out of touch for over a week, their tent has been shredded by an avalanche, I fear the search only puts the rescuers at risk. So imho Pepe is absolutely right.
It’s Nanga Parbat! Remember 2018? And many more!

David Madureira

that”s why they always will be hour champions , no matter they goals!