ISLAMABAD — Armed with drones, Spanish and Pakistani mountaineers searched Tuesday despite diminishing hopes for two European climbers who went missing over a week ago on the world’s ninth-highest mountain in bad weather, officials said.
The search for Italian Daniele Nardi and Briton Tom Ballard, missing for more than a week on Nanga Parbat — known as “Killer Mountain” because of its dangerous conditions — produced no leads on Monday, increasing fears the pair may have perished.
Though the latest search by rescuers remained unsuccessful, the operation was likely to continue Wednesday.
Karrar Haidri, the secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, said that despite the long time that Nardi and Ballard have been missing, the search-and-rescue team was still holding out hope.
“Miracles do happen and have happened in the past in such incidents so we are hoping to find them,” he said.
Haidri said the families of the missing climbers were being informed about the search results.
Missing climbers’ family members and friends have raised funds to continue the search operation, he added. Pakistan’s military has provided helicopters for the search that took off from the northern Pakistani town of Skardu.
Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo tweeted that the search resumed on Tuesday and that the rescuers were planning to use drones. He praised the Pakistani and Spanish mountaineers trying to trace Nardi and Ballard.
Ballard’s disappearance on the mountain with a peak of 8,126 meters (26,660 feet) has hit Scotland particularly hard because he is the son of Alison Hargreaves, the first woman to scale Mount Everest alone.