Wrecked Tent and Avalanche Debris Spotted on Nanga Parbat

The helicopter searching the Diamir side of Nanga Parbat for missing climbers Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard has spotted a tent at Camp 3, invaded by snow, in an area of avalanche debris. Nardi and Ballard last reported from around 6,300m, which is above Camp 3, but there’s been no news from them since Sunday. According to Daniele Nardi’s home team, the weather is still acceptable below 7,000m, but night has now fallen in Pakistan, so this may be all we learn today.

Tomorrow, a helicopter has permission to fly to K2 Base Camp and pick up four rescuers from the Kazakh-Russian-Kyrgyz team, led by Vassily Pivtsov. The plan is to land them as close to the flattened tent as possible. Extraordinary permission was needed because the recent flareup of India-Pakistan tensions has restricted airspace throughout the region.

Back at their base, Pakistani pilots released video footage of their search on the huge Diamir face:

The search helicopter did two flights today. No trace of the climbers was found on the first flight, so the chopper dropped winter Nanga Parbat summiter Ali Sadpara and two other rescuers near Base Camp, then returned to Skardu to refuel. The flight crew spotted the ruined tent and debris on their second pass.

Camp3 tent destroyed on nanga parbat

Ruins of a tent at about 5,700 meters, presumably Nardi’s and Ballard’s Camp 3, as seen from the helicopter. Photo: Courtesy of PAK Army

Known as the Killer Mountain, Nanga Parbat is one of the world’s most deadly 8,000m peaks. Last winter, Polish climber Tomasz Mackiewicz died during a similar attempt on the mountain. His partner, Elisabeth Revol, survived thanks to climbers who abandoned their own K2 goal to rescue her.


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