Last week we shared an interview that Explorers Web conducted with Alex Txikon regarding his recent attempt to summit K2 in winter. In that interview, Txikon discussed the challenges of climbing that mountain during the harshest season of them all, and gave us insights into the relationship between his team and the international squad that was there at the same time. He offered an intriguing look at Base Camp politics and had few good things to say about his neighbors. Now, the ExWeb team has posted the second part of that interview, with the Basque climber sharing details of the search and rescue efforts hat took place on Nanga Parbat this season too.
If you followed the winter climbing season closely, you probably already know that Italian climber Daniele Nardi and his teammate Tom Ballard from the U.K. were attempting Nanga Parbat. The two ran into trouble on their summit bid and were out of contact for several days. When concerns about their whereabouts grew too high, Txikon and members of his team traveled to Nanga to search for the missing men. Ultimately their bodies were located on the mountain, signaling a tragic end to their expedition.
The details of the search efforts and what happened to Daniele and Tom haven’t been shared until now. In the interview, Alex talks about his thoughts when traveling to Nanga Parbat to search for his friends. He also provides some clarification to what happened to the two men, which he says didn’t get caught in an avalanche. He speculates that either they fell to their deaths on the Mummery Spur or succumbed to the cold. It is impossible to say at this point, but Txikon says there was no sign of an avalanche in their area.
There other important elements to the interview as well, including the possibility that the SAR team’s helicopter could have easily been shot down while en route from K2 to Nanga Parbat and the Alex’s thoughts on whether or not Daniele was pushing his luck on his fight expedition to the mountain. For those of us who followed those expeditions closely, it is good to know that the Spaniard feels that Nardi was obsessed with the mountain, but was also safe, intelligent, and measured in his approach.
Check out the full interview here.