Ace climber Malli Mastan Babu has reportedly gone missing from Andes Mountains in South America, triggering fears about his safety.
The fastest ‘7 Summiteer’ in the world – having climbed summits in all seven continents in 172 days – Babu is one of India’s most famous mountain climbers.
Forty-year-old Babu, who hails from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, was in South America to climb the 21,748 feet-high Cerro Tres Cruces Sur. Babu and his friends had started their ascent from the Argentinean side towards the summit that lies on the Chilean side of the Andes.
As per reports, Babu and his group were at the base camp on March 24 when he apparently set off alone to check out the route up. The weather deteriorated soon afterwards and he has been missing since then.
His family in India have appealed to the governments of Argentina and Chile to launch aerial search operations even as his friends from around the world have started a fund-raising campaign to aid the rescue campaign.
The Indian Mountaineering Federation is also chipping in with help. Babu was set to return to India on March 28.
An alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur and IIM-Calcutta, Babu had taken to mountain climbing after working as a software engineer for 3 years.