NEWS
03/03/2019 14:22 GMT | Updated 03/03/2019 14:26 GMT

Tom Ballard: Crowdfunding Campaign Raises Thousands For Climbers Missing On Pakistan's Killer Mountain

Tom Ballard was climbing Nanga Parbat with Italian Daniele Nardi when he was last heard from a week ago.

PA Ready News UK

A crowdfunding campaign has raised more than £90,000 has been raised to help aid the search for two climbers who went missing in Pakistan seven days ago.

The search for the British and Italian climbers, who are missing on the world’s ninth highest mountain, was meant to resume on Sunday but has been called off after being hampered by adverse weather.

The rescue team will try again on Monday morning. 

Tom Ballard, who was born in Derbyshire but had moved to the Highlands, was climbing Nanga Parbat in Pakistan with Italian Daniele Nardi when they lost contact a week ago.

The rescue mission to search the 8,126-metre (26,660ft) peak nicknamed the Killer Mountain has been hit by several setbacks including tensions over Kashmir and bad weather. 

On Sunday, Pakistani army helicopters are bringing in Basque climber Alex Txikon and his team from K2, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan tweeted.

Stefano Pontecorvo hailed the move as a “big step forward” and said the weather has cleared and should allow the search to start. However it began to snow again so the attempt was postponed until Monday morning.

Money continues to be donated to the crowdfunding page and the money will be used to fund helicopters for the search.

Kate Ballard, Ballard’s sister, appealed for help on Facebook: “To those beautiful humans that have asked how they can help.

“Helicopters, especially in the high mountains of Pakistan are expensive.

“Anything you can [donate] will add flight time to the rescue.”

Txikon plans to fly high-altitude drones over the area where the two climbers went missing.

Earlier, Pontecorvo said both the missing men are “tough guys”, adding: “We hope for a miracle ... and just try our best to find them.”

Initial search plans on Thursday were prevented when Pakistan closed its air space after it shot down two Indian military planes.

Snow, clouds and low visibility forced proposed searches on Friday and Saturday to be called off.

Ballard moved to Scotland in the same year his mother, Alison Hargreaves, died on K2 when she was 33, months after becoming the first woman to conquer Everest unaided.