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Tom Ballard on a climb in 2016. Photograph: Tom Ballard/Facebook

Tom Ballard: search party to be flown in to help find missing British climber

Ballard and his Italian climbing partner Daniele Nardi had been climbing Naga Parbat

WT24 Desk

A search for a British climber missing on the world’s ninth-highest mountain is poised to resume after being hampered by adverse weather, PA reports.

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

Tensions over Kashmir and bad weather scuppered plans to search the 8,126-metre (26,660ft) peak, nicknamed the Killer Mountain, but now a search party is being flown in.

Pakistani army helicopters are bringing in the Basque climber Alex Txikon and his team from K2, said the Italian ambassador to Pakistan, Stefano Pontecorvo.

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

Pontecorvo hailed the move as a “big step forward” and said the weather has cleared and should allow the search to begin.

He said both the missing men were “tough guys” and that “we hope for a miracle … and [will] 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.

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