The intense search for two European climbers who went missing over a week ago in bad weather on the world’s ninth-highest mountain in Pakistan was called off on Wednesday, after a Spanish-Pakistani search team lost hope of finding any trace of the pair.
Karrar Haidri, the secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, told The Associated Press that it was not an easy but “a very painful decision” to take after the rescuers tried everything they could – including flying out drones – to find the two.
Earlier in the day, hopes had started fading for finding Italian Daniele Nardi and Briton Tom Ballard, missing for over a week on Nanga Parbat, known as “Killer Mountain” because of its dangerous conditions.
Mr Nardi, 42, from near Rome, had attempted the Nanga Parbat summit in winter several times in the past. Mr Ballard, 30, also a skilled climber, in 2015 became the first person to solo climb all six major north faces of the Alps in one winter.
The two set out on Feb. 22, making it to the fourth base camp the following day. The pair last made contact on Feb. 24 from an elevation of some 6,300 meters (nearly 20,700 feet) on Nanga Parbat.