“Two silhouettes” discovered on Nanga Parbat

The Mummery Rib (arrow) in the Diamir Face

There is much speculation these days about the search for the two climbers Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard missing on Nanga Parbat. And it’s not always easy to keep facts and assumptions apart in the countless publications. Nardi’s home team announced today that Spaniard Alex Txikon said he discovered yesterday with a telescope from base camp “two silhouettes” on the Mummery spur. Actually, it was planned to fly to this spot by helicopter today.

No helicopter flights on Nanga Parbat

But because of the current conflict between Pakistan and India no military helicopters were available for the action. Alex Txikon and the other members of the search team then descended to the village of Ser at about 2,700 meters. There they will be picked up tomorrow Friday – if helicopters are available – to fly to the Mummery spur again.

Of course one wonders what all this means. If the “silhouettes” had moved, this would certainly have been communicated. So the question is whether the bodies of the 42-year-old Nardi and the 30-year-old Ballard are really there, as some media already report, or not.

The Internet portal montagna.tv reports that Txikon sent high-resolution pictures of his yesterday’s discovery to the family and the coordinators of the search operation. “The observation (of the pictures) convinced everyone of the high probability that Daniele and Tom were identified in the rocky part of the Mummery spur.” It is possible, but by no means certain, that on Friday the probability will become certainty.

K2: Pivtsov and Co. at just below 7,500 meters

Meanwhile on K2, the team from Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan was unable to implement their plan to climb up to Camp 4 at the “Shoulder” at around 7,850 meters due to poor visibility. Expedition leader Vassiliy Pivtsov and his companions pitched their tent at just below 7,500 meters.

P.S. I will be skiing in the Alps for a good week starting tomorrow – so I can’t keep you up to date in the usual way.

Update 8 March: According to the Italian ambassador in Pakistan there was also today no helicopter flight to Nanga Parbat to continue to search for the missing climbers Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard. What happens next, is still open.

On K2 Vassiliy Pivtsov’s team abandoned their summit bid and descended to Camp 1 – due to poor visibility.