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

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