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Bad weather delays search for missing climber in Pakistan

Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi have been missing on Nanga Parbat since last Sunday.

Missing: Tom Ballard grew up in Scotland.
Missing: Tom Ballard grew up in Scotland. Tom Ballard

The search for a British climber who went missing in Pakistan has suffered another setback due to bad weather.

Tom Ballard, who grew up in the shadow of Ben Nevis, was attempting to scale the world's ninth highest mountain Nanga Parbat with Italian climber Daniele Nardi when they lost contact with their base camp last weekend.

The 30-year-old is the son of famous climber Alison Hargreaves, who died near the peak of K2 in 1995.

A helicopter was allowed to join the search despite the closure of the country's airspace due to tensions with India, however on Saturday the search was postponed because of the weather.

Stefano Pontecorvo, the Italian ambassador in Pakistan, said rescuers would try again on Sunday when the weather is expected to improve.

He said he had spoken to Basque climber Alex Txikon, who is joining the rescue mission with a three-strong team, including a doctor.

If weather permits, Mr Txikon is expected to fly drones over the area where the two climbers went missing.

Pakistani helicopter pilots were on standby from 5.30am local time on Saturday but were unable to fly due to snow, clouds and low visibility, according to an update on Mr Nardi's Facebook page.

Initial search plans were prevented on Thursday when Pakistan closed its air space after it shot down two Indian military planes, but two army helicopters were eventually drafted in.

Russian mountaineers on K2 offered to support the rescue mission on Friday, with flights scheduled after an agreement was reached with the Italian embassy and the Pakistani air force, but the weather was deemed too dangerous.

https://stv.tv/news/highlands-islands/1435881-climber-with-scottish-roots-missing-on-pakistan-mountain/ | default

Nanga Parbat is situated in the south-west of Pakistan. With a summit 8126m above sea level, the mountain is known for being a challenging and dangerous climb, earning it the nickname "killer mountain".

The climbers were ascending the notoriously difficult Mummery Rib when they went missing.

Mr Ballard is a highly experienced climber who is the first person ever to successfully solo climb all six major north faces of the Alps in one winter season.

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