In February 2019, Tom Ballard, 30, one of the world’s leading alpinists, disappeared with his Italian climbing partner, Daniele Nardi on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. Known as the ‘Killer Mountain,’ Nanga Parbat is the world’s 9th highest mountain and home of violent storms and frequent avalanches. Tom and Daniele were attempting to summit via the previously unscaled Mummery Spur – a route that many leading mountaineers describe as ‘suicidal’.
History was repeating itself: in August 1995, Tom’s mother, climber Alison Hargreaves, at 33 the first woman to reach the summit of Everest alone and without oxygen, was swept to her death having just summited the world’s second highest peak, K2 – in the same Himalayan range as Nanga Parbat.
The Last Mountain is the compelling story of a family whose destiny has been intertwined with the primal urge to climb them. Risk and death were ever present, but, set against the backdrop of the world’s highest peaks, this tragic but ultimately heart-warming and life-affirming film does not tell a conventional mountaineering story: it explores grief and the pain of bereavement as well as the inspiring courage and enduring love of a family confronting tragedy – not once but twice.