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Ace Indian mountaineer goes missing in the Andes

New Delhi: Malli Mastan Babu, an ace mountaineer who had climbed the Seven Summits in 172 days, has gone missing after he went on a climb up the high mountains between Argentina and Chile.The 40-year-old

India TV News Desk [ Updated: March 29, 2015 11:26 IST ]
ace indian mountaineer goes missing in the andes
ace indian mountaineer goes missing in the andes

New Delhi: Malli Mastan Babu, an ace mountaineer who had climbed the Seven Summits in 172 days, has gone missing after he went on a climb up the high mountains between Argentina and Chile.

The 40-year-old from Andhra Pradesh was on a solo expedition that started on March 24, attempting to climb the mountain range along the Argentina-Chile border from the base camp of Cerro Tres Cruces. He, however, not returned the next day and the camp teams were also not able to establish a contact with him.

Governments of both the countries have sent their rescue teams to look for Malli.

According to his sister, Dr Malli Dorasanamma, Malli went with his friends to climb the Ceros Mountains. He had begun his ascent from the Argentina side and was dropped off at the base camp on March 24.

"It appears that from the base camp he set off alone. The rain worsened after he left. He was supposed to return on the 24th, but did not. The area gets a lot of rains and floods”, she said.

Malli is regarded as the fastest “7 summiteer” in the world, which is fastest to climb summit in all seven continents.

Her sister told that while they found some mountaineers later on the Argentinian side of the mountains, Malli was nowhere to be seen.

Indian ambassador of Argentian, Amarendra Khatua said, “We are already in touch with the governor of Mendoza and Consul General of Chile in Mendoza. Ceros is frontier mountains between Chile and Argentina.”

He said that Malli seems to have been on the Argentinian side of the range. The teams are trying to locate him from both the sides. “Pray for the best. The range is rocky and windy and filled with crevasses” he said.

The Indian ambassador to Chile, S. Rajendran, too, has been in touch with Malli's sister.

She said she was informed on 26th March by Malli Mastan Babu's friend Hernan Agusto Parajon. By then, she said, the rescue teams were out.

Dorasanamma further told that Mali's friends from across the world have started a fund-raising campaign for him so that they can aid the rescue campaign in South America.

The Indian Mountaineering Federation has also been pressed into service and they, too, have been connecting with their counterparts in both the countries.

She further told that now the search is being concentrated upon the Chilean side of the Ceros Mountains.

She told that Malli was booked on a flight back to India on March 28.

Malli Mastan Babu is an alumnus of IIM, Calcutta and IIT-Kharagpur. Wing Commander Amit Chaudhury of the Indian Mountaineering Federation said he used to be in touch with Babu, and knew him to be one of the fastest summiteers in the world.

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