Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard were last heard from on February 24 as they climbed the Nanga Parbat, which at 8,125 metres is the world’s ninth-highest peak.

The climbing partners were attempting a route that has never been successfully completed on the peak, which is also known as “Killer Mountain”.

Italian ambassador to Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo tweeted on Saturday that the bodies of the two men had been identified from aerial photos.

“It hurts to announce that the search is officially over,” he wrote.

“The search team have confirmed that the silhouettes spotted... at about 5,900 meters are those of Daniele and Tom.”

An announcement on Nardi’s Facebook page confirmed the deaths. 

“We inform you that the research of Daniele and Tom has ended,” the post said.

“A part of them will always remain on the Nanga Parbat.”

The discovery followed an extensive search by a team of Spanish climbers with the help of Pakistani mountaineer Rehmatullah Baig, who was climbing with the men before turning back. 

Rescue teams were initially forced to wait for permission to send up a helicopter after Pakistan closed its airspace in response to heightened tensions with India.

Ballard is the son of British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves, the first woman to conquer Mount Everest solo and without bottled oxygen.

She died in 1995 descending K2, the world’s second-tallest mountain which is also located in northern Pakistan.