In Memory of Tom Ballard

Tom Ballard was born in the Peak District of England in 1988. Moving to the Highlands of Scotland in 1995, where he went to school in the sight of Britain’s highest mountain – Ben Nevis 4406 ft.

Tom is the son of famous Alpinist, Alison Hargreaves, who tragically lost her life on her descent from K2 in 1995. K2 is the second highest mountain on earth situated in Pakistan. Alison was one of Britain's greatest mountaineers, completing some ambitious projects in her career. Alison was the first person to climb the six great North Faces of the Alps solo in single season, as well as scaling Everest without sherpa support or supplementary oxygen.

Tom and his family spent a lot of time in the mountains supporting Alison throughout her career. He is pictured playing with toy cars at Everest Basecamp as a child. Alison and Tom, his father, wanted their children to grow up and have an adventurours life. After Alison passed, the family continued to spend time in the mountains, packing up their life in the UK and moving to Europe in 2009.

Tom followed his Mother's footsteps and had a fantastic career in climbing. He was a creative climber gaining satisfaction in either creating new routes or making free ascents of climbs that formerly used aid. At the age of 20 he made the first solo ascent of the Scottish Pillars on the Eiger and also put up a new 900m route, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. He was a member of the GB Ice Climbing Team and represented Great Britian at the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Circuit. In 2015, he became the first person to solo the six great North Faces of the Alps in a single winter season, taking inspiration from his mother's achievement. He later went on to establishing world firsts or hardest routes whilst dry tooling, ice climibing or trad climbing. He had plans to summit K2 in the future.

In the early months of 2019 he set off on a expedition, attempting a first ascent of the Mummery Spur on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan with his climbing partner Daniele Nardi. The pair tragically lost their lives during their ascent in extreme winter conditions. Our thoughts will always be with Tom and Daniele's family and friends.

Tom became a Montane Athlete in 2015, his imprint on Montane cannot be measured. On first meeting Tom at our offices in Northumberland, we asked him for a quote that best described why he climbed, and his response seems fitting; “All men dream: But not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence