The bodies of British climber and his Italian partner identified on mountain in Pakistan

Search called off for climbers Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi 

The bodies of a British climber and his Italian partner have been found on a mountain in Pakistan a fortnight after they went missing.

Tom Ballard, 30, was climbing Nanga Parbat in Pakistan with Daniele Nardi, 42, when they lost contact on February 24.

A team of four Spanish rescuers identified their remains after earlier spotting their silhouettes at an altitude of 20,700ft, close to their last known position.

A family friend of Jim Ballard, Tom’s father, last night said the confirmation of their deaths meant their “worst fears had been realised”.

A spokesman for the Nardi team posted a message online saying they were “heartbroken” and now “must accept what happened”.

Stefano Pontecorvo, the Italian ambassador, said the search team has confirmed that silhouettes earlier seen on the mountain were the bodies of Mr Ballard and Mr Nardi. He added that the bodies are in a location that is proving difficult to reach.

He tweeted: “With great sadness I inform that the search for Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard is over  as the search team has confirmed that the silhouettes spotted on Mummery at about 5,900 meters are those of Daniele and Tom. R.I.P.”

Mr Ballard was born in Derbyshire but moved to the Scottish Highlands in 1995, the year his mother, Alison Hargreaves, died on K2 when she was 33, just months after becoming the first woman to conquer Everest unaided.

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