Fastest Indian mountaineer goes missing in Andes

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mastan-babu-malliEminent Indian mountaineer Malli Mastan Babu has gone missing while climbing the Andes Mountains. His family has appealed to the government of Chile and Argentina to start a search operation for the missing Indian mountaineer.

“We have appealed to the Government of India through Union Ministers Ashok Gajapati Raju and M. Venkaiah Naidu. We have been informed that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has taken it up with governments of Chile and Argentina and rescue teams have been sent. We have been told that the route that Mastan took was hit by heavy rains after he left,’’ she added. “Mastan is unmarried and does not stay at any one place for more than a fortnight. He is hardly at home. Our mother lives with me in Tirupati where I work,” said Dr. Dorsannamma (Malli’s sister).

Both the countries have already sent rescue teams in search of Malli. Malli is an alumnus of IIT  Kharagpur and IIM Calcutta. He is considered to be the fastest 7 summiteer in the world who has climbed all the 7 summits around the world in record possible time.

“I sent him a message on March 21 wishing him luck and he replied. That was our last contact with him. His last known location is Cerro Tress Cruces on the Argentinian side. It seems that as the weather was bad, he advised his fellow mountaineers to stay put at the base camp and went alone on March 23 to check out the route up. He was supposed to return by the evening. He is missing since then. He was to return to India on March 28,’’ his sister said from Tirupati on Sunday.

The forty-year-old Malli from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, with his friends from different countries, was supposed to climb the 21,748 feet-high Ceros Tres Cruces Sur on the Chilean side of the Andes Mountain Range. They were climbing it from the Argentinian side.

 

On the other hand, India’s ambassador to Argentina Amarendra Khatua, said, “We are already in touch with the governor of Mendoza and Consul General of Chile in Mendoza. Ceros is frontiermountains between Chile and Argentina. Mastan Babu seems to have been on the Argentina side of the range. The teams are trying to locate him from both sides. Pray for the best. The range is rocky and windy and filled with crevasses.”


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