This article was translated by John R. Bopp

The love of the Basques for the mountains is undeniable.  The mountains of our country are always full of people of all ages enjoying the trails.  This love and fondness has taken a select group of Basques to taking up mountain hiking and climbing, meaning this small country is rather “over-represented” among the mountaineering elite.

It’s not hard to find Basques in the some of the most unreachable places on the planet and, for many of them, the Himalaya is almost a second home.  And that is hugely lucky for mountaineers who are in distress, since, as is necessary among the friends of the summit, they are always willing to help.

We’ve already written stories about Basque mountaineers, including one in which they saved of a mountaineer who had been abandoned at 7,100 m (23,300 ft), that have been headlines worldwide, and show the pinnacle of that commitment.

Today, we’re bringing you a similar one, that reinforces the idea of the “way of living” that makes up the DNA of Basque mountaineers.  We’re referring to the incorporation of Alex Txikon in the rescue work to save Italian Daniele Nardi and Briton Tom Ballard.

In order to do so, he had to leave behind his expedition to K2 and fly by Pakistani army helicopter to the base of Nanga Parbat.  His preparedness and his expedition’s equipment were necessary to try to make sure this story had a happy ending.

His expedition, Winter Top Appeal, was trying to be the first to reach the summit of K2 in the winter.  A complex and expensive project, it was put on hold in order to help other people in danger.

Once and again, we can’t help but feel proud, and to thank those who were able to show the world the best of our natino.

We’re sure that more than one (or ten) are going to accuse us of highlighting that they’re Basque, with phrases like “that doesn’t matter”, or “as if that were important”, or “you make everything political”.  But they never say that when they’re called “Spanish”—then it’s okay.


UOL – 3/3/2019 – Brazil

Alpinista espanhol se juntará às buscas de 2 desaparecidos no Nanga Parbat

O experiente montanhista espanhol Alex Txikon voará amanhã com sua equipe rumo ao monte Nanga Parbat após deixar o acampamento-base do K2 em helicópteros do exército do Paquistão para se juntar à operação de resgate do italiano Daniele Nardi e do britânico Tom Ballard, que estão desaparecidos há dias na montanha situada no Himalaia paquistanês

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Il Manifesto – 1/3/2019 – Italy

Alex Txicon in aiuto di Daniele Nardi e Tom Ballard. Il Pakistan intralcia i soccorsi

Le incertezze degli alpinisti al campo-base del K2 e i ritardi causati dalla burocrazia pakistana hanno fatto perdere un altro giorno alla ricerca di Daniele Nardi e Tom Ballard, dispersi da domenica scorsa sulla parete Diamir del Nanga Parbat. Le possibilità di ritrovare i due in vita sono ormai molto basse.


BBC – 1/3/2019 – Great Britain

Tom Ballard: Drone search for missing climbers delayed

Tom Ballard and Italian climber Daniele Nardi last made contact on Sunday, from an altitude of about 20,500ft (6,250m) on Nanga Parbat. High altitude drones were due to be operated from close to the mountain’s base camp and an army helicopter was also set to search for the pair. However, heavy snow and a payment dispute has led to the postponement.

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Last Updated on Dec 20, 2020 by About Basque Country

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