Investigation of Two Shapes on Nanga Parbat Delayed

Just when it seemed that we might learn something of the fates of Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard, missing for 12 days and all but written off as deceased, a new obstacle has stalled the on-again, off-again search on Nanga Parbat.

Word came yesterday that the search had ended. While it seems to be ramping down, it is not entirely correct to say that it is over. Alex Txikon kept inspecting the Diamir Face through a telescope. He reported spotting two unidentified shapes on the mountain. Although it wasn’t clear what they might be — gear, tent rags, human bodies — the searchers called for a helicopter.

Two helicopters left their base this morning, but then military commands diverted them to other tasks, as the tension between India and Pakistan continues.

Txikon and his team have already abandoned Base Camp and reached the village of Ser, where they will spend the night. Tomorrow, weather and military priorities permitting, they will board a helicopter for a (final?) search of Nanga Parbat’s Diamir side.

Update on K2: Meanwhile, the Kazakh-Russian-Kyrgyz team is progressing in spite of poor weather. According to RussianClimb, Pivtsov and his men set off toward Camp 4 today. However, they couldn’t quite reach the camp’s location at 8,000m on the shoulder. According to their latest communication, they had settled in for the night at 7,500m.