Derby

K2 climb: Tom Ballard plans to follow in mother's footsteps

Tom Ballard Eiger Image copyright Tom Ballard
Image caption Tom Ballard finished his Starlight and Storm project on the north face of the Eiger in Switzerland

A climber whose mother died scaling the K2 peak has now said he wants to take on the challenge.

Earlier this month Tom Ballard became the first person to solo climb all six major north faces of the Alps in one winter.

His mother Alison Hargreaves, from Belper, Derbyshire, was the first woman to conquer Everest unaided in 1995.

The same year she was killed on K2, in Pakistan. Her 26-year-old son says he will climb the peak in time.

"I've always wanted to go to K2. I think eventually I will get there I don't know when," he said.

Image copyright Tom Ballard
Image caption Tom climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland in February

The climber began his Starlight and Storm project in December 2014, almost 20 years after his mother's death.

Image copyright Tom Ballard
Image caption The 26-year-old climbed all six peaks alone

It saw him take on Cima Grande di Lavaredo, Pizzo Badile, Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses, Petit Dru and finished on the Eiger on 21 March.

Image caption Tom's mother Alison Hargreaves also climbed the six major north faces of the Alps but in summer

"The anniversary isn't really something I'd thought about at all. It's kind of a complete coincidence that I happened to climb the six this winter.

"It felt very good to finish. It was like a big weight was lifted from my shoulders," he said.

Mr Ballard said he does not think about his mother when he is climbing but believes she would have been "very proud" of his achievement.

He climbed all six peaks solo without the help of a support team.

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