His mother died climbing K2. Now he’s missing on Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain.’ – Chicago Tribune

Years before she died on the descent from K2, famed mountaineer Alison Hargreaves climbed the soaring, glacier-studded Eiger with her son Tom in her womb.

That would arguably be his first climb, made before he was born into a notably adventurous family. Hargreaves was the first woman ever to summit Everest without Sherpas or bottled oxygen, in May 1995. She was killed on K2 in a rash of bad weather three months later.

Tom Ballard followed in her footsteps at Eiger and five other major peaks in the Alps in 2015, becoming the first solo climber ever to conquer them all in one winter. Ballard was christened “the new king of the Alps,” the Telegraph announced soon after.

But now, about 100 miles southwest from where his mother died, Ballard, 30, has been missing along with his Italian climbing partner Daniele Nardi on Pakistan’s Nanga Parbat – nicknamed “Killer Mountain” for its row of deaths and notoriously difficult terrain on the ninth-highest mountain in the world.