The Last Mountain (2021) Movie Script

Well done,
you're doing really well. Keep it up.
We can see your every move now. Fantastic.
Don't rush. There's no rush. Over.
It's amazing. Over.
Go on, Alison.
- She's done it, she's there.
- Whoo! I feel like...
This is the most fantastic
day of my life. Over.
A 33-year-old
mother has become
the first British woman
to conquer Mount Everest alone
and without an oxygen supply.
Alison Hargreaves from Torlundy
near Fort William is
the only British professional
female mountaineer.
Alison Hargreaves
had nurtured her ambition
to conquer Everest without
oxygen since her schooldays.
After a failed attempt last year,
driven back by appalling weather,
the 33-year-old finally sent
word back to her husband by fax
that she was on top of the world.
Alison, mother of two,
reached the summit of Everest,
8848 meters,
13th of May 1995
at 12:08pm Nepalese time.
Base to Tom and Kate,
my two children.
I'm on the highest point in the world
and I love them dearly. Over.
Keep your heads up.
Heads up, heads up.
- Heads up. Heads up.
- Kate. Heads up. Kate.
Careful. Go that way, Tom.
Just like as if we're going
skiing. Very straight, Tom.
You're a mother
of two young children.
What did they think when mum
come home a world record holder?
Well, they don't really
understand, I mean,
they know mum's done something
special 'cause people
keep asking them
about what mummy's just done.
Um, but mummy's always
gone off and climbed mountains,
so to a certain extent,
it's fairly normal.
Do you think mum is very clever?
- Yes.
- Why is your mum very clever?
Because she climbed Mount Everest.
And she climbed Mount Everest, all on...
- Her own.
- Without any...
And why is that clever?
Because it, because it's clever.
Because it's very clever!
Shall we pump it out
for your mum because she's a-
Let's give three cheers for your mum
'cause she's a record breaker!
What's next?
Um, in a couple of weeks' time I'm off
to Pakistan to try and climb K2,
which is the second-highest in the world.
So it's not so high, but maybe
a little bit more difficult.
- So that'll be fun.
- What drives you on?
Ah. I don't know, something inside.
I mean, I love climbing mountains and,
and I love standing on top.
And to have stood on top
of the highest in the world,
for me, is just unbelievable.
Conquering Everest
and K2 in the one season
without oxygen is unprecedented.
But as she prepares to set off,
Alison Hargreaves
is well aware of the dangers.
When we go climbing,
we obviously minimize the risks,
and if we thought it was that risky,
we wouldn't go climbing.
I mean, anybody who, who went
off thinking that, you know,
there was a, you know, very high
chance they wouldn't come back,
I think is, is a very,
it's a unfair thing to do,
especially with their own family.
Basically, you know,
climbers climb.
We know our strengths and
our weaknesses, and hopefully
we can normally make the right
decisions at the right time.
Tom, what do you think
of your mummy?
She's very nice and she's,
and she is very clever,
so she, she'll do it.
I'm a mole I'm a mole and I live in a hole.
I'm a mole.
I had the worst job
that any parent's ever gonna
have in their life.
I sat the children down
in a quiet room and, um,
and told them that their mother
was more than likely dead
and they wouldn't see her again.
And she was lost on a storm in K2.
And Kate cried and shouted,
as small children will,
and, uh, Tom asked if he and Kate
could see their mum's last mountain.
And I didn't think for very long.
I gave them my promise
that they would see where their mum died
and, more importantly,
their mum's last mountain.
Well, that's it, chaps,
that's the last of the bags.
Everything's packed,
now all we need is the station.
- Thank you.
- Take care.
Look after the kids.
I will do, don't worry.
See you all when I come back.
The passengers
sitting out on the left-hand
side can have a view of K2
and the tall treat on to the left to it
is finally visible.
Where is K2?
K2's the pointy one,
straight on the skies here.
- Over there?
- Yeah, the big pointy one.
Your mum stood on top of that,
and Everest.
- That one big pointy.
- Yeah, let's look it up.
Nobody knows
how life is gonna unfold.
Nobody knew we were going
to have two smashing children.
But we did.
And the one promise we made to each other
that was totally binding
was that we would always
bring our children up in the
wide-open spaces, in freedom,
learning what spirit's about,
learning what adventure's about,
enjoying, understanding and accepting
the wild and beautiful place
of this Earth.
I wouldn't like to see
Tom and Kate do anything
that-that people wanted them to do.
I'd only like to see Tom and Kate have
the opportunity to do
what they want to do,
be it bricklayer or brain surgeon.
But it would be
an awfully hard act for Kate
to have to follow
the greatest woman climber.
And even more impossible
to follow as a boy.
But who knows?
The mountains, I think, are magnetic.
There is some sort of force
that pulls you in.
It's the aura. It's the, the purity.
The open, vast sky.
You can see forever.
And the mountains have this awesome power.
Oh, my God!
You can't conquer them.
They were there before us,
and after we've gone,
they'll still be there.
And so i-instead of fighting against them,
you have to find a way to work with them.
You have to be in harmony,
and sometimes they let you
and other times they won't.
But we're always sort of
pushing ourselves a little bit
to see how far we can go, you know,
how far at the edge can we go
before we topple off.
Danger is very personal to everybody.
Pushing your own personal
limits is more or less
going for longer or higher
or faster or harder.
But never fighting against
the mountain because you can't,
because they'll always win in the end.
My relationship with
the mountains is, I would say,
not completely different to Tom's.
You know, our love and our drive
is exactly the same,
but he's got goals in mind.
He's got, "I wanna do
this peak and this peak
and this peak and I want to do
this route on this peak
and this one and this one," and he just
strives to, to climb.
It's all he's ever wanted to do, you know?
That's fine, and that is
and has always been Tom.
Nobody knows why Tom is the way he is,
he's just a climber and always will be.
Anyone that's ever seen
Tom on a mountain
would say how much like an ibex he is.
Just so sure-footed. It's hard to explain.
I've never seen anyone like that.
I don't know what Tom's plans
are, I've got no idea.
But if he does take his
climbing to a higher level,
I definitely want to be a part of it.
And while he's climbing,
I'm sure I'll be doing other things.
I adore to climb mountains,
don't get me wrong,
but I don't just necessarily
want to get to the top and down again.
But if I'm climbing with Tom, it's, like,
200 million times easier
than if I was doing it with anybody else.
Anybody else in the entire world.
Having Tom by my side
is like having protection,
a helping hand, or just...
He's a nice person to have next to you
when you're on the mountain.
It's so...
That's a nice thing for
a sister to say, isn't it, Tom?
- It's very nice, yeah.
- See? I can be nice.
Ah, okay. I didn't know.
Sorry, Joe.
The time is 17 minutes to 9:00,
the climber, Tom Ballard,
has just completed a remarkable feat.
The six great north faces of the Alps,
all climbed alone, in winter,
in one season.
He's the son of Alison Hargreaves,
who did the same thing
in the summer season.
In 1995, Alison Hargreaves was killed
after reaching the summit of K2,
the world's second-highest mountain.
The six
great peaks of Europe,
climb the north faces, all in one winter
sounds an absolutely
miserable business to me.
How-how difficult was it?
Uh, the main difficulty is
getting the right conditions
at the right time.
And then, you know, I think
that, uh, maybe
sort of 80% is probably sort of down,
more down to luck
wi-with the weather, and...
The thing is, the, the
mountains will always be there.
You just have to make sure that you are.
It's just a shame
that climbing
isn't an Olympic sport because
we'd be nailed on for gold with you,
surely, wouldn't we?
Yeah, it would be nice, actually,
to have a nice gold medal instead of just
a nice feeling at the end of the day.
Well, Tom,
lovely talking to you,
and continued success.
I'm sure your mum would be
very proud indeed.
I think so, too. Thank you very much.
Alright, all the best.
That's, uh, Tom Ballard,
a world-beating British climber.
And we are proud of him.
It's, uh, just gone
26 minutes past 11:00. I...
I genuinely believe,
like his mother had a talent,
Tom has a fantastic talent,
and I believe that Tom,
up to this moment in time,
knows how to use that talent.
But I don't believe in omnipotence.
The problem is that the game is played,
particularly if he transfers it
to higher peaks.
Goes from playing Russian roulette
with maybe no or one bullet in,
to playing Russian roulette
with quite a lot of bullets in.
The search
continues for a British climber
who's gone missing on
Nanga Parbat, a giant peak
in Pakistan, nicknamed
the Killer Mountain.
Two military helicopters are searching
for Tom Ballard and Italian Daniele Nardi
as they lost contact over a week ago.
Tom Ballard, part of
an East Midlands mountaineering dynasty,
is regarded as one of
the world's finest alpinists.
He posts regular updates of his exploits
to his thousands of followers online.
His last update was nine days ago.
Life is "like a holiday,
while we wait for that
elusive weather window."
He hasn't been seen since Sunday.
So... we've got Tom and Daniele
somewhere high on the spur,
the comms aren't working,
and that's the last concrete
information we have.
Kate is in South Africa
and she said, "How long, dad? How long?"
And I said, "Look, you know,"
I said "you know me,
I'm not given to snatching
at things in the air,
nor am I given to, you know,
letting my emotions run away."
But seven to ten days, no problem.
You know, the boy will be cold,
he might have a bit of frostbite,
he'll certainly be really bad-tempered,
but that's the thing we have to remember.
Hi, Kate. Hello.
- Can you hear me?
- Yes, I can hear you.
I was just talking to Luigi,
that's Daniele's other brother,
and he said if I was gonna call you,
then maybe I could just update you.
That would be very nice, Kate.
So helicopters took off
this morning to go have a look,
uh, at, uh, possible sighting.
Um, what they saw, they can't see clearly,
but what they could see is that
the two, the two bodies,
and they are bodies
because they're not moving.
If they are bodies,
80% sure they are bodies.
One is wearing orange,
one is wearing blue.
Or they can't be a 100% sure
but like I said,
they're not moving, so...
Okay, dear. Okay. And, uh...
S-so that's what he just told me.
Okay. So how are you bearing up with that?
It's heart-breaking, Kate.
I'm, I'm sorry.
You know, I wish I could,
I wish I could say something
that could make you feel better
at the moment.
You, you, you, you really
do need to try and find,
uh, something to do and help,
that-that takes your mind off
it so that you can, you can
go back to, to, to trying
to remember the good times,
the great times, and, um...
I don't wanna, dad,
as far as I'm concerned,
I'm not willing to talk
and think about the good times,
and any, like, any, uh...
I'm not, we, until we find Tom,
until the rescue is called off,
I'm not gonna think of
the situation like Tom is dead,
I don't, I'm not willing to accept it
until the rescue is being
called off one way or the other.
So I'm not willing to listen to anyone
that has anything to say
about Tom being dead,
because, quite frankly, I know Tom so well
and I know that he can get
himself out of any situations.
So if that is, perhaps, Tom lying there,
then, as far as I'm concerned,
he's still alive
and we need to go and get him.
Yeah, well, I'm sure,
I'm sure there's a lot of people
feel that, the same as you do, Kate.
D-do you want to talk later?
Shall I ring you-
- I'll talk to you later.
- -Okay, dear.
- Okay? Lots of love.
- Bye.
Lots of hugs. Talk to you later.
Au revoir.
- Sure. Au revoir.
- Au revoir, dear.
Well, that's how some people cope,
and, unfortunately, it seems to be the way
Kate is coping, and it's not
a, a happy experience
'cause there's nothing I can say.
I suppose
what, what is frustrating Kate
is the fact is, it is out of her control.
Probably we will not know very much
about what was found on the mountain
till the search is finished,
but, you know, there is still a chance.
Hello, very good evening to you.
Rescuers have found the bodies
of the missing British
mountaineer, Tom Ballard,
and his Italian climbing
companion, Daniele Nardi,
in Pakistan.
Contact was lost with the pair
almost two weeks ago during an ascent
of one of the world's highest mountains.
Nanga Parbat, in the Himalayas.
Mr. Ballard is the son
of Alison Hargreaves,
who died on a mountain peak, too.
After hours of searching
from Pakistani helicopters
and special teams from Spain,
the Italian ambassador
to Pakistan announced
the search was over,
as the bodies had been spotted.
Alex Txikon was part of the search team
and was one of the first
to climb Nanga Parbat
in the winter, just three years ago.
Not so good news,
we spotted the bodies
of Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard.
They are in quite difficult
and high altitude area,
which is impossible for us to reach there.
Really super risky to attempt
any, any, any rescue missions.
They will stay for always on Nanga Parbat.
You know, it's a very, very sad moment.
Tom Ballard's mother
Alison Hargreaves, was killed
in a storm while descending
from the summit of K2,
the world's second-highest mountain,
about a 100 miles away
from where Tom died.
As captain, I welcome you
on board on flight TK451.
After another
two to three minutes, uh, uh,
you will, people sitting on
the right will be able to see.
Nanga Parbat and, uh, we'll
commence, insha Allah, descent,
uh, after ten minutes...
It's six months since we lost Tom.
He and Daniele are still up there,
at peace, on Nanga Parbat.
I've been to collect Tom's passport.
That's a big relief to have
that small red book back
in the family's possession.
But it's, it's papers, you know?
It's not, it's not actually Tom.
So it's just paperwork.
The most important thing now for me
is to meet the Italian
ambassador of Pakistan.
He supervised over
the search and rescue efforts
after Tom and Daniele went missing.
So he'll have more information about
what actually happened to Tom and Daniele.
What happens in,
in Nanga Parbat, apparently,
is, on that, on the...
on that route is that snow comes down...
and it snows heavily.
Then it kind of freezes
and accumulates
and when it's too heavy,
it just goes down.
And that happens every three to six hours.
So one idea is that there
may have been a ice avalanche,
a serac, which hit them.
It was certainly not a snowstorm
because a snowstorm
would've wiped out everything.
And, uh, Alex Txikon,
who we enlisted for the rescue operation,
inferred from the position of the bodies
and, uh, the general conditions
of how they were found,
that they may have died a different way,
which was, uh, as they were coming down,
they were still roped,
and, uh, Tom was possibly,
because he's, he's kind of hanging
in a, in an awkward position in the ropes,
he might have gotten tangled in the ropes.
Daniele was going up
to try to, to cut the ropes
or, you know, get freed of the ropes,
and they may have been victim of climate,
of the minus-50 degrees,
and may have died that way.
Alex Txikon used those words.
They have died a cruel death.
I'm sorry. I thought you
actually were aware of all this.
No, no, no. Not aware of that at all.
We've, of course,
we don't, didn't ever think
we knew exactly what had happened,
but the story that we took
on board was that...
they climbed,
they went to bed in their tent,
probably very cold up at that altitude,
and sometime during the night,
while they were peacefully asleep,
probably dreaming about climbing,
that a serac
from high above them broke off
and the force just ripped them
straight out of their tent
and threw them off the mountain,
and they would've died
immediately on impact,
uh, from the force, just as,
just as we believe, happened to mum,
that she wouldn't have felt anything,
it just happened so suddenly
that you don't, and that he was asleep.
That was, so that was
kind of reassuring for us,
and that's been for the last
however many months
since the accident, that's what
we have thought happened.
And now today, to have heard...
that they were hanging,
dangling, dying slowly,
fully aware of what was going on, um...
and that, and, uh,
his exact words were
that it was a, a, a cruel death.
That's, that's really big news.
I could be happier and live easier
knowing that he was at peace.
But to hear that he could've
been really suffering
for a long time,
and we couldn't get to them...
is... heartbreaking.
When I wake up in the morning,
I'm perfectly well aware
that, since that day, uh,
when the news came through,
my world would be completely different...
I never saw a way in which Tom
would come to grieve on mountains early.
Goes right down the side...
It still doesn't seem real sometimes.
You know, I don't,
I don't think it isn't real,
but it is difficult to see it as real.
I think you just have to accept
that Tom is not coming back...
just like his mum didn't,
and you have to work out
a way of living with it.
The last floods, Tom,
were just after your mum died,
and it was like the mountain
shedding tears for her.
It just rained and rained
and stormed and stormed.
And it washed all the roads out.
Your mum's spirit is still here.
It's only your mum's body that's gone.
That doesn't matter, Tom,
your mum's spirit is in
all these mountains,
she's probably just coming back
from a good day's climbing today.
There'll be no rest for anybody
now that your mum's around.
Oh, dear.
In 1995 dad brought Tom
and I here for a journey to K2,
which was mum's last mountain.
But now the most important
thing for me is, I'm going to
trek to Nanga Parbat base camp
to visit Tom's last mountain.
It's kind of history repeating itself.
I was only four at the time.
And, yeah, so the only part
of the trek I remember
is that I had a minder.
I had Big Ibrahim, as we called him,
and I, I remember his smell.
I remember his smell.
A nice smell, not a bad smell.
Just a, a warm, safe smell from,
'cause I think I slept a lot
on his, on his neck.
I just remember him
always looking after me.
Dear Mr. Jim
and Miss Kate.
When I heard Tom was
climbing Nanga Parbat
I wanted to go
to Base Camp to greet him.
I would have been happy to see him
after such a long time.
And Tom would have been
very surprised to see me.
But it was not to be.
May Allah grant you
And if you ever
come to Pakistan,
please come to visit
me in my home.
I wanna go across the bridge.
You wanna go across the bridge?
You're gonna cross the bridge
with Ibrahim?
I think you can go anywhere
with Ibrahim.
I feel a little bit nervous.
Not nervous, but I've got butterflies.
So it's been 25 years
since I've seen him.
Pretty excited.
Yeah, have a look.
- That's him.
- Yeah.
Can I come?
Okay, I'll leave it down here.
- Hello.
- Hello, how are you?
- How do you?
- Uh, good.
- Good? Yeah, yeah. Welcome.
- Thank you for having me here.
- You're well? Yes. Yes.
- Yes. You're well? Okay.
- Long time.
- Yes. Yes, yes.
I'm big now.
Still smaller than you.
- Good?
- Yes.
Just to translate, yes.
It's good to be here.
Yeah. Yeah.
So, how are you feeling
to see Kate again?
He cannot feel his express...
He cannot feel his express.
- He's so emotional.
- Yeah, same.
He feels very regretted because
it is, somehow it is very nice to see her,
but some o-other point,
it's very sad to see her
without her brother
because she was, he was carrying her
as a, like, child and with his,
with her brother,
and now it is so, so hard
to see her. Yeah.
He said I always hoped
I would see her again.
Well done. Thank you, Ibrahim.
- Are we there, daddy?
- This is it, love. Yeah.
Thank you.
I also brought for you...
because it's my favorite photograph.
Sleeping, no?
Can you remember,
was Kate heavy on your shoulder?
- Yeah, little heavy.
- -No.
I'm happy Tom and my mum are here.
If anywhere they could be...
it's the most beautiful place in the world
and it's where they wanted to be.
I can, dad.
Oh, look at the mountains, dad.
Look. They're stunning.
I know, the, the sun has come
out again, it's licking
the top of that. That's 6400
meters above sea level.
Big Ibrahim, he has
welcomed us into his home,
and we've had tea and biscuits,
and now he'll join us
on our trek to Nanga Parbat.
- Bye-bye. Bye.
- Yeah.
- Bye.
- Bye.
Somehow the stars
have aligned and we will,
God willing, see Nanga Parbat today.
And actually, it's a very
special day today.
It's, it's Tom's birthday today.
Tom would be 31 today.
Happy birthday, Tom.
Even before I was born,
I climbed, uh, the Eiger,
inside my mum's, uh, tummy.
She was, um, six months pregnant with me.
I think she had to find it
a bit difficult with her bump
to squeeze through.
And then when I was first born,
I was always exposed to this environment,
um, and so that must be...
I mean, mountains
are in my blood, I guess.
Good job you're going, isn't it?
Good job.
I think you've always got
that thing inside you
that says, you know, whether
you want to be a footballer
or, or anything like that.
Inside you, you know what you want to be
and you know what you want to do.
It's kind of your calling, if you like.
So then I had kind of,
you know, I had a vision
of, you know, I, I knew
what I wanted to do then.
So it's not just a physical thing,
but quite a spiritual experience?
Very much so, yes. Mm.
Definitely, yeah.
So when you're on
the mountains, when you're
climbing, you're in touch
with something deeper within you?
Yes. Yes.
But you never know quite what it is.
It's just, you know, it feels right.
You can tell
that he's totally in control.
Totally at peace with himself.
You know, he's now about
70, 80 feet above the floor,
and, I mean, I know as a realist
that if he falls off now,
or certainly fell off higher up,
the chances are he's gonna get
very seriously hurt.
I've always thought
there is quite a definite line
between good adventure and danger.
And the trick is to make sure
you've always got your feet on the line,
and you don't step over it.
When he's older, it's up to him
how far he takes himself
to the edge of that line.
- Do you remember?
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Yeah.
- I tried to carry to you.
- You carry him also.
- Yeah, yeah, also.
Yeah. You carried both.
This is Kipper, and this came
from, this came from my mum.
- So, so it's always with me.
- Yeah, yeah.
I don't know how much
I remember of my mum
and how much I know of my mum
from her appearance in film
and magazines and newspapers,
and my stories that my dad has told me.
It's difficult to differentiate
what's my true memories
and what's come from outside.
Although her physical form is not here,
I feel her in every way,
and especially in the mountains.
Now with Tom also being lost here,
it's like I have to spend
even more time here
because it's where they are.
Now look, this is Nanga Parbat.
- Big lump of a mountain.
- It is, isn't it?
It's ginormous,
and we're still very far away.
It's, it's breathtaking.
I can understand
why he wanted to climb it.
I wanna climb it, too.
Tom was a mountaineer through and through.
He was born to be on the mountains.
He got all of mum's gift
for mountaineering.
And I didn't.
In my teenage years
I found myself very jealous
of Tom's genius...
Yeah, nice. Brilliant.
...of how talented he was.
Not only that, but also his drive
and how passionate he was
about a certain thing.
And I was always like this,
like that, enjoyed this,
enjoyed that, loved this, loved that.
Hey, hey, hey, hut, hut, hut...
Tom, there was one thing and
it was mountaineering climbing.
And that I envied
'cause he just knew.
Aw, fucker!
This is the kitchen, um, food is
hanging up from various places,
so we can't be attacked
by any animals, wild animals.
Mainly meat. Um, we have the stove.
Uh, all the implement...
Just a normal kitchen, really.
Also sort of partly living room.
Uh, quite open plan.
Um, plenty of fresh air,
good ventilation and nice view.
Uh, stone's throw away from the river.
Yeah, and show me where you sleep.
Uh, uh, I sleep in the van.
The big tent, my father sleeps in there.
That's where we keep
all the stuff in there.
And I sleep in, in the van.
Uh, obviously, it's full
of climbing gear and...
- Uh, Comfortable?
- Yeah, it's very comfortable.
Yeah. Very comfortable.
Uh, in winter it's a bit cold.
And do you miss living in a,
in a house with a bedroom-
Not especially, but... no.
Not especially, no.
- You're used to this now?
- Well, yeah.
Been living like this, or even
just without the kitchen,
just with the van, uh,
for the last, uh, four or five years,
so it's quite normal for me now.
There is something
very simple and very primeval
about having only one thing to do.
We had nothing else to do
but climb the routes
that Tom wanted to climb.
We just had enough money.
We just had enough equipment
in the early days.
And that's what we did,
which is what made Tom what he was.
His training was like you would
train for Olympics.
Today dry tooling. Ah.
Training for the winter...
in summer.
This is not winter.
We're not, we're not tough.
It's, uh, virtual ice,
virtual snow.
Yeah, you have to imagine it's cold,
there is ice, there is snow.
When I'm climbing I become
a part of the mountain itself
and that, and that becomes a part of me.
Um, like, for instance, I'm, I'm
a moving rock or a piece of ice.
You're becoming more,
more in tune with the mountain.
It's a completely different experience.
Because of my sort
of circumstances and my,
the way I am personally
and the fact that I prefer
to be on my own,
I prefer to be away from people.
And the way we sort of live
in a campsite, I think
that's just a help
because I've become fitter.
Always training. He never stopped.
He had, uh, super energy.
I always thought he wasn't, uh,
he wasn't part of this world.
He was like, uh, an alien.
- Do you say an alien?
- An alien.
An alien. An alien. Yeah, yeah.
He wasn't human.
How did I fall in love with Tom?
Uh, I liked him, first of all,
because he was different.
He had a completely different lifestyle.
Out of the ordinary, you know?
No, he was cool, I mean,
because he was authentic.
He was a, a pure person.
He just liked to climb, to be in nature
and to live as he wanted
was important for him.
Of course he made room in his life for me
because we climbed together.
It wouldn't have been possible
if I wasn't a climber.
He wouldn't even have started.
I like my life with him because
we could have adventures together,
we could share things.
And that's the most important thing.
The first time actually
we kissed,
it was, uh, when we climbed
the first route,
the first ascent of Baptism
of Fire, actually, called it.
Uh, and, yeah, we were both,
uh, 26 when we met.
Now tilting your head.
- Ha-ha. Yeah, it's funny.
- Funny?
- Back with the... Like this?
- Yes.
When I first knew him,
he wasn't well known.
Oh, proper climate, eh?
But the project that made him stand out
was the six north faces.
He was called to do lectures,
they made a film of him.
And so I think his life changed,
and everybody wanted to know him for sure,
somebody so special.
- Hello.
- Hi, nice to meet you.
I met your mother a few times.
In the, in the '80s. And I did
a book on women climbing.
- Yeah, "Women On Top."
- And in this book...
I say openly she was
the greatest mountaineer ever.
- Yeah, I think that's true.
- She's not yet...
No, no one's even close, I think.
Nobody's even got close.
Isn't that the son
of that lady
I'm mad about him.
And he's so strong
and handsome.
And you're now becoming
a professional mountaineer?
- Yeah.
- Okay. Okay. All the best.
Thank you very much. After you.
Ah, thank you very much.
You are very, very figo.
How do you say "figo"?
Everybody loved Tom.
Everybody loved Tom.
My mum was in love with him, oh, my God.
Everybody was in love
in my family with Tom.
My brothers loved him.
- Gracias.
- You're welcome.
He was simple.
He was simple and very nice
with everybody.
- Have a nice evening.
- Ciao.
But then, of course,
he couldn't judge people and...
Like a child, you know,
that you give him a sweet, he takes it
even if it's not good.
Here comes our guest of honor
Daniele, how are you doing?
Daniele is a great
And has had
some great triumphs.
The first thing
I thought when we met was
you're not a typical mountaineer
I was expecting someone
from the North of Italy.
But, instead, I discovered
you're from Lattina in the South.
Yes, actually I come
from Sezze in Lattina
I come from the hills to go
and climb the 8000m peaks
Daniele always,
uh, wanted to be recognized
as a good mountaineer.
He said he felt like
he was always an outcaster
because he, he came from the south,
because he was not, he told me,
"For-for most people in Italy,
I'm not credible."
He wanted to be credible as a mountaineer
because all the important,
the biggest mountaineers, uh,
Italian mountaineers, are from the north.
Here people take the boat
and go to sea, you know?
They don't climb the mountains,
so he was a, he was an outcast,
but he was also a real fighter.
Whoo! Windy!
He was 42,
so he was much older than Tom.
An impressive Himalayan record.
Climbed some big peaks.
But I've never met the guy,
I'd never heard of him until Tom told me
that Daniele had suggested
they become climbing partners.
And I think that Daniele
realized what a tour de force
Tom was capable of delivering.
- Soft snow, huh?
- Yeah, it's not very nice.
The first time we met Daniele,
it was in Germany 2016.
He went climbing with him, and, yeah,
for sure he had some experience, Daniele,
I won't say no,
but for sure he wasn't even
close as talented as Tom.
Tom, he was... how you say?
In Italian we say...
He was one of the best in the world.
- Tom?
- Tom, yeah.
We've reached the top.
Daniele told me
that Tom was very strong,
very technical and very focused.
And Daniele thought that
he could be a good companion.
The best companion, maybe.
I'm organizing an
expedition to Pakistan.
To climb an 8000m peak
in winter.
It's a very difficult
mountain to climb.
Which 8000m peak?
Nanga Parbat.
By yourself?
No, with Daniele Nardi.
For him, Nanga Parbat
has always been a dream.
He's already tried to
climb it four times.
I like climbing
with him.
So I said I'll come
with you whenever you want.
And so, this winter
we're going to give it a go.
I wasn't happy
about him going there.
And I tried to convince,
to persuade him not to go.
But then I also thought,
"Okay, I can't really,
because it is his life,
and if he wants to go, he must go."
This expedition
was going to be.
Daniele's fifth attempt to the summit,
but through the Mummery Spur.
He always told me at the beginning,
"I'm not going to Nanga Parbat,
I'm going to the Mummery Spur."
"The Mummery Spur
is the challenge for me."
There are various routes up Nanga Parbat,
the Kinshofer Route and the Messner Route,
but Daniele wasn't interested in those.
He wanted to go up Nanga Parbat
through the Mummery Spur,
which has still not been climbed.
He loved that route because he told me
that it was the most direct to the top
and it was, uh, it was the most elegant.
If you look at the mountain,
it's like a finger pointing to the top,
and he was in love with this fact.
He was with love, in love
with the elegance, you know?
But he talked also about the fact
that this sport could be very dangerous.
Super dangerous. Super dangerous.
It's one of the craziest places
that I ever been in my life, believe me.
It's much more dangerous and risky
than, than, than hard and technical.
It's so dangerous, I will show
you right now. Look at here.
These seracs is totally crazy.
This is huge, great blocks of ice?
Yes, it's all, it's ice, and it's more
than 100 meters of height.
When this serac fell down,
even the avalanches
reached to the base camp,
And-and-and-this is like
an, it's big explosion.
It's, it's, it's huge.
It's massive. It's giant.
Avalanches fall
every week.
Every day,
Sometimes 5 a day.
My brother and I were
forced to come down
this route in 1970
in order to save our lives.
But sadly, my brother
then died in an avalanche.
I would only say that
it's best not to go
to that place.
But, everyone has the right
to choose where
they kill themselves.
So when you heard that
Daniele and Tom wanted to climb
the Mummer Spur at that time
of the year...
I wasn't scared,
this, this 7th of January,
I wasn't scared because I knew
that Daniele has the experience.
But with Nanga Parbat,
sometimes I think
climber will become obsessed,
and I think Daniele
was a little bit obsessed
with-with Mummery Spur.
For me, Mummery is
the best dream I can imagine.
Okay, so I use all my energy
and my power to do it for three years.
Daniele Nardi was with us
on the attempts on Nanga Parbat
2014/15, 15/16.
- You sure of that?
- Yes, I bring 2000 meter rope.
He knew very well that we show
to the world that Nanga Parbat
was possible in winter
by the Kinshofer Route.
But for Daniele that's not enough,
the classical route.
Daniele Nardi wants to show,
in my opinion,
to the world, that I'm here,
I'm Daniele Nardi and I will try
from Mummery route.
If I introduced you as
a madman trying to kill himself.
Would that be fair?
Not really,
I'm looking for life.
But I am quite mad,
in a way.
How many bodies are
there on Nanga Parbat?
Lots. Too many.
Too many dead.
This is your 5th attempt.
Isn't it a bit
of an obsession?
If you make it to
the top, what will you do?
I think I might cry.
And if you don't come
How would you like to
be remembered?
Wow! Good question.
Daniele was a good climber,
but, I think, was drunk on ambition.
But for Tom,
you know, if you are driving
in a car, okay, I'm...
How you say in English?
Say high... when you're...
- Hitchhiking.
- Hitchhiking? The...
And the car stop to you, "hey, hello."
But you are with a, a man
that is totally drunk
and you take the decision to go with him,
and then you crash, and both of you died.
You know you take your decision.
Uh, climbing,
alpinism is not for heroes.
It's not a right thing that
you must be there in danger for months.
It wasn't Tom's style.
I mean, it was completely stupid.
Before he left, he left some
stuff here in Fassa Valley
in my house, and I thought,
"Fuck, this may be
is the last time he is here."
I had that feeling it was
the last time I would see him.
I don't know. Strange.
Premonition, you call it?
Oh. Yeah.
Stay in touch, be connected
to our Facebook profile
because we send you our photo,
Twitter, Instagram.
- Please.
- Every hour.
Follow us, Nardi and Ballard, to Pakistan.
Be connected.
Yeah! Ooh.
I think we're nearing Halala Bridge.
It seems to be the, uh,
starting point for our trek.
I just feel so happy from inside.
I can't, I can't stop smiling,
even though, obviously,
it's, it's horrible circumstances.
But it doesn't take away the beauty
and the joy of the mountains
in this place.
I think, for Kate,
it comes down to a trip of two halves.
I think first of all
there's the joy of meeting
with Big Ibrahim.
Then, I think, she'll enjoy
seeing, uh, where Tom lies,
and, uh, covering the terrain
that Tom covered.
Except, of course, it will be
entirely different in the sense
that, that she's there's in autumn
and he was there in deep winter.
The army you're not behind the plough.
You're in the army now.
You're in the army now.
You're not behind a plough
You'll never get rich...
25 years later,
I'm still walking with Katie.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
It's great. I love it. Yeah.
Oh, it just feels so natural, it's nice.
- But happy. Yeah, yeah.
- Happy?
Together we walk.
He's happy that I'm walking
and not on his shoulders.
You know? Yeah, yeah.
I don't think that the
roles have changed in any way.
He's most definitely still my minder,
and looking after me.
But I'm very conscious
of, of his health as well.
It's slightly worrying a little
bit how heavy he's breathing.
He had to stop a lot and, um,
he just doesn't seem like
he's in the best of shapes.
He's retired, so it's understandable.
But we're walking together the whole way,
so we'll take care of each other.
Nice snow.
- You're enjoying?
- Yeah, it's good fun.
Not so easy with these boots, but...
- Yeah.
- Better than walking.
- Sure. With snowshoes.
- Ha-ha...
I spent with them, uh,
three weeks going to the base camp,
then I spent some days there,
and then I came back.
And, um, I had the feeling
that Tom was really,
at the beginning,
was really excited to be there.
And, uh, they were really nice
together. Really nice.
They took care of each other
in a, in a very tender way.
They were like brothers.
And they, they just could look each other
and understand what they were
thinking or what to do.
I don't know Tom so well.
He was so sweet,
but I think there was anger.
Like, uh, a knot of anger
that can explode sometimes.
And, uh...
yes, and sadness, yeah.
I think he also felt the pressure
of being Alison's son.
All these stories about his mother,
how great she was, uh,
how extraordinary she was.
She was an inspiration,
but she was also, um,
a very heavy heritage.
The way she died
put her in a place
where now she's untouchable.
Higher, higher, higher.
Bit right, bit right.
Not good.
- Yeah!
- Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Go!
- Go!
I don't know how
you organized this expedition
without beer, without wine, without vodka,
without whisky?
No brandy. Fuck.
Karim, really, I do it
because you are Pakistani, so I told-
Come on, man. Why you didn't ask us?
Because I say they are Islam,
they pray five times a day, so...
Islam is moderate Islam now.
- More?
- Yeah, we can drink.
- Really?
- Yeah.
I love it.
In the beginning it was, uh,
you know, it was first time with them.
Four of us, you know,
we had a good relation,
we were understanding each other.
We were learning
from each other, you know?
We had a good team I think, yeah.
Here, Mr. Rahmat.
And, uh, Tom wants to try
some overhangings.
Wow, great, man.
Tom was the youngest in our team.
Was really great person.
And I thought this is
a good partner, you know?
It snowed over yesterday,
so I'm breaking the trail to camp one.
Um, we gotta find a new way
across the glacier
because the, the way that we came last,
uh, the serac is falling down.
Very cold today. Very clear.
Absolutely amazing.
Uh, it's very cold,
we'll stay here tonight,
then move up to camp two
or here in camp three tomorrow,
depending on the snow conditions.
Hopefully there'll be some avalanches
tonight, clear the snow,
otherwise it's gonna be hard work.
Basically, it's like a
complete white-out.
We decided to come here
to Camp 2
even in these terrible
It hasn't got any worse but it
hasn't got any better either.
So we're in a bit of an
odd situation.
We're taking a bit
of a risk but
we're going to check
Camp 2 and then go back down.
Beautiful, though.
Living in the wildness
of nature like this.
It's truly incredible.
I have seen huge,
huge crevices there that,
which I didn't see before.
It was terrifying
and we have emotions
to reach higher and higher,
but if something happened
while climbing there,
you won't survive.
Weather's not the best today,
but, uh, it's hard work
on the way to camp three.
Tough snow.
It's the strangest.
Fortunately not too cold.
Cold enough.
Hard work.
Three days, four days, five days.
Sometimes seven days snowfall.
It destroyed the trail,
it destroyed the camps.
- Oh. It's gone.
- Yeah.
If it were, I'm sure it's still there.
And I think everything inside
will be fine,
but, you know, the tent,
I don't know, maybe it's broken.
- Poles may be broken.
- This very place.
Somewhere underneath
the snow is the tent.
From this... it's come down, you know?
Yeah, yeah.
That line leads to the tent.
Somewhere underneath the snow.
Just stupid. I mean...
He should have been organized
one month before.
He didn't take much to think about that.
If you know that
it's very snowy in February...
I mean, it's not snowy like here.
Also here you can die from an avalanche.
But there, why you want to be
there in February?
I don't understand.
I mean, you lose your life.
You're playing with your life.
I didn't thought that Tom was so reckless.
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
- Yeah.
- Okay.
Two hours to find the day.
- The tent.
- The tent. One tent.
We need to find that, the other one
under one m-meter of, of snow.
I think the Yeti stole the tent.
Do you think we'll find
another tent tomorrow?
- I hope so.
- We have to find.
If we don't find,
we no have more kambals
for you and for Rahmat.
Yeah, that's a big problem.
It's a problem.
So we, uh, arrived at camp three,
but, uh, it doesn't exist anymore.
Camp three is buried underneath the snow.
Uh, we dug three holes, three tunnels.
Can't find anything at all.
Um, and now the,
uh, the wind is picking up high up.
Uh, some very interesting clouds.
So time to go down.
Uh, we have to go back down to base camp,
uh, reorganize, and then, uh,
when the weather's good, try again.
In this moment, in this moment
I decided to stop climbing here...
because I felt this is a signal
to leave the mountain.
I told Daniele, "Look, Daniele,
it's time to go out."
And what he said, "Karim, I know
this mountain very well."
"I want to reach the summit."
I said, "It's up to you."
"I don't want to lose my life here."
And I told them... I want to go.
And he, he, he said, "Are you scared?"
I said, "No, I'm not scared."
"I'm not scared, but I can come back,
"I can climb again."
When Tom brought my
gear, which I left in camp two,
and he brought his harness,
I thought he would, uh,
abandon the expedition
and join me to return to home.
Of course, he was listening the mountains
and watching the weather,
watching the dangerous conditions.
I don't know why he didn't
listen at the end,
at the last moment, at the last chance,
that he continued.
This I didn't understand.
When they had to stay almost 20 days
after me in base camp...
they didn't realize the danger
from the mountain.
I think Daniele convinced Tom
that they can reach the summit.
I don't know, I think that guy...
Tom, he never judged people.
He never said even half
a bad word about anybody.
He couldn't even see
if a person was using him in any way.
And I'm really scared is that
he, that guy manipulated him.
For sure, I can tell you
that Daniele didn't manipulate Tom.
It was not manipulation.
Tom was really much smarter than this.
It was like saying that he was
a little bit dumb, you know?
Little bit stupid.
Tom was brilliant.
He was not stupid, not at all.
You don't go to Nanga Parbat
if you're not really, really committed.
I don't know why
Tom was committed, but he was.
What a fantastic evening.
Look at the light. Incredible.
But absolutely stunning.
I'm a moving rock or a piece of ice.
I have to be in harmony.
Pushing your own personal...
Never fighting against
the mountain because you can't.
They let you, and other times they won't.
They'll always win in the end.
We have to work with them.
You have to be in harmony.
The mountain
change you in a way
that if you don't,
if you don't experience it,
you cannot really understand it.
You are... It can make you another person.
Things or decisions that, uh,
here you would never, never take,
there they seem possible.
I think that after two months there,
probably they were not like us.
Yes, for sure. For sure.
They were functioning in another way...
because their body changed there,
deeply, strongly.
I think he was skinnier.
He lost weight.
He didn't look fine.
I don't know,
I see sufferance in his eyes.
I don't know why.
I never been anxious about him that much.
I say, "Now, now stop it, come back."
I wanted to buy him a ticket
to come back also.
The last message I sent him
was that I'm not happy you're climbing,
and I said, "It's dangerous," and he say,
"Bah, no. It's my job."
"If you don't like it, leave me.'
I said then, "Better," I mean, because...
I don't know, I wasn't happy.
I don't know. He sent me a broken heart.
That's it. We didn't leave
each other in a nice way.
It was very hard,
and then after a few days
I said, "This has to be the end."
"Love of my life, if I had
never told you."
I was climbing
Nangi, too, at the time,
but was asked to lead
the search for the two mens.
Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard,
they had not made contact
with base camp for many days.
Uh, the last communication,
it was with, uh, with Khaleel Bhai.
They were on camp four on the,
on the ridge, on the Mummery.
- YES.
- It's like a cave.
- Yes.
They were somewhere in, in, in that area.
Where is Mummery?
All of the responsibility
from the family
is my responsibility,
so I can't make any mistake,
and I must find, I must find.
I'm moving from one side
of the helicopter to the other side,
from one side, and, uh,
with one hand with my camera,
yes, recording for something,
but I was with my eye
and totally focused...
and cleaning the window.
I press a little bit more
for the pilot to slowly take me here,
but, "No, Alex, the fuel,
the fuel, the fuel, the fuel,
it's too risky, too risky."
But I told him why we can't do
just here, here, here, here, here?
For me, this 35 minutes,
they were, uh, eternal.
I saw something strange
in one small rocky point
and so I flew with drone.
I saw first a pole, something like black
and then something orange...
and I think in my mind, "Oh,
if avalanche crashed to them
and they were in their sleeping bags,
was like, ooh,
...going on in my, my body.
Uh, and I start digging
and digging, digging,
digging the snow.
We find, uh, the camp two tent
from Daniele and Tom totally destroyed.
Inside, uh, we see one sleeping bags,
some pickaxes, no mattresses.
And as you can see here, nothing.
No evidences of life.
- Today ten days.
- Yes.
I think Tom would've found...
Well, I don't think,
I know Tom would've found
the, the organizing rescues
and people leaping in and out
of helicopters and all that
really, really offensive.
Tom would never expect anybody
to rescue him.
Uh, nor would his mother.
They would have expected
to get themselves off.
If you can't get yourselves off
when you are playing the game at the top,
then you don't deserve to come off.
You know, the hardest
thing for me, Chris,
was that I walk in their track.
In their track that was made
by the foot of Tom and Daniele.
This was the hardest moment
for me in this rescue action.
It was like a message,
it was like, something like,
wow, so painful, this moment.
On 5 of March,
we continued to climbing up.
We-we did twice, okay?
Up and down, up and down.
And we are here,
in the craziest place
that we can be there.
Oh, this time very dangerous, the Mummery.
So I think 200 meters and then
we are more safe, no, Ali?
- Uh, but now we are not safe.
- Okay.
Not sure, you know,
if they, some seracs fell down,
we are not safe, not this time.
Camp one, camp two...
Alex... Over!
Get out of there!
An avalanche has swept
the Mummery route...
It's going to
camp 2... Get out!
We hear all the time, the seracs,
how they were crashing, you know?
And we could not risk anymore,
any single life
or any single second more
in this crazy place,
so we moved to the base camp.
We were, there was a telescope
at this point with a tripod.
I-I took the telescope and
I thought, "Give me a chance."
- Anchor there. Rope. Rope.
- Yes, yes, this is rope.
And the, the bodies
are here, you see?
Down. Look, look down. Look.
In less than 15 seconds,
I found them.
This is, you see rope? Fifteen seconds.
Look, look, look, Alex, Alex.
I found the anchor here,
I follow down there,
down there, down there,
and immediately here, as you can see here,
this is Tom, down there on the fixed rope,
and up is Daniele.
When Alex Txikon
found them, finally at last...
and I knew how they were found,
that they were close
and linked with a rope,
I thought that
at least they were not alone.
- They were together.
- Yeah, they were together.
- Good?
- Very nice.
It was his destiny.
I don't know, I don't, I don't
know if I believe in destiny.
We choose. It's our path.
And I can't blame anybody
about his death, you know?
Because why?
It's not even fair to blame
the climber that he was with.
He choose to be there, so it's not fair.
It was his choice,
and we have to respect it.
Tom was, above all, a solo climber.
That's where he excelled.
And I have found myself at times thinking,
I wish he'd have just stuck
to solo climbing.
If he could've been soloing,
i-it would've been
a different outcome for Tom.
Tom was a mountain warrior.
His mum was a mountain warrior.
You know, Tom will be 30 forever...
at the peak of his physical...
doing what he wanted to do,
where he wanted to do.
And if nature took him back,
there's nothing we can do...
apart from raise our hats...
to a life well-lived.
Hey? You sad?
Hey. Don't be sad.
Look, there's a little cloud
right against it.
Tom, there's a little cloud
right above the top of K2.
Do you know it's your mum waving to you?
You see, there's one
little one there waving.
Looks like an angel's wings.
Can you see it?
- Is that mummy?
- It could be.
Can you see it? Right above the summit.
Yeah. Is that mummy, daddy?
Well, I think it's a sign
that your mum knows you're here.
She's here, Tom.
She's, she's always there, isn't she?
That's right, she's always there.
It is so sad when you
lose someone from your family.
A father, a mother
or a brother
Kate is like an orphan
now which is very sad.
When a person is facing
many problems.
They can become
stronger in the end.
Her mother is here
and now Tom is too.
I wanted to...
embrace the mountain.
I wanted to see what he'd seen,
try and understand
what went through his mind...
and just try to get a grasp
of, of how he might have felt being here.
Nice snow.
And I have completely achieved that.
And I know what has happened,
I know where he's gone,
I know that his body is never coming back,
but his spirit will live on forever.
And it'll live on in me
and in the mountains
and in everyone
that was ever close to him.
Gonna turn and give me a smile?
It's almost like mum's cradling him,
and they'll be together forever now.
I wish I could be with them.
But I've still got dad,
and dad and I
will pull through this together.
And as hard as it is, we know...
that they did what they wanted to do.
Whoo-hoo! Yoo-hoo!
It is difficult to
not dwell on what's happened,
of course.
And it's not something
that I'm over in that sense.
It's, uh, it'll be an ongoing process,
I think, my entire life.
Then it'll get easier, hopefully,
i-in years to come.
But there is only forward to look.
There's no point looking back.
I'm not going that way.
That's a wonderful thing
to hear, Kate. Absolutely.
I mean, I think since Tom died,
Kate and I have developed a bond
which is, I suppose,
really, truly spiritual.
And th-that's how I feel.
And the thing that I never expected to do
was be able to share
her adventures and joys
and sadnesses
in a way that gave me
unbelievable warmth and pleasure.
Coming from a climbing legacy,
I always felt just great pride.
But because mum and Tom
were so extraordinary,
I almost have a duty to them
to be extraordinary, too,
and not just be the average Joe
and to be a little bit more special.
My mum and brother,
the wind beneath my wings.
I feel your heart beating.
It's wonderful.
Just like when I carried you
over to the window.
It was a windowsill I carried
you over to, when you were born.
It was.
If I'd have known what a nuisance
you were, I'd have taken you back.
Have you got one in blue?
Go, Kate, go.
Keep waving.
Oh, well done, lass.