29 September 2021, The Tablet

Family summit

Family summit

The Last Mountain

The Ballard family seem an interesting combination of highly visible and completely unknowable. Jim Ballard and his wife, Alison, met through mountaineering and their two children, Tom and Kate, were rappelling, abseiling and roping-up from an early age. Alison (better known as Alison Hargreaves, the first woman to ascend Everest without supplementary oxygen) died in 1995 while descending from the summit of K2; her son Tom was killed trying to reach the top of Nanga Parbat nearly 25 years later.

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