Even the slimmest hopes of finding mountaineers Alberto Zerain and Mariano Galván alive on Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat have vanished after Pakistani officials confirmed that both men almost certainly perished after an avalanche hit the ledge. The bodies will remain there until weather conditions permit their recovery. Zerain leaves behind a widow Patricia, and two children.
Contact with Zerain and Galván lost on 24th June
Contact with the two climbers was lost two Saturdays ago - the men could not be reached by satelitte telephone and their GPS tracking devices failed to pick them up. The most optimistic theories suggest that perhaps the two men remain stranded on the ledge but may have lost their backpacks during the avalanche which would account for the loss of signal to show their location.
On Thursday, a search and rescue helicopter took off from Skardu to comb the area where the two men were last known to be, according to their tracker data but the search was abandoned due to extensive cloud cover. This weekend another heli-search operation was launched but returned with no sightings of the two climbers.