New Delhi: Ace mountaineer Malli Mastan Babu, who went missing since March 24 from Andes Mountains in South America, has been found dead.
A Facebook page 'Rescue Malli Mastan Babu' launched by his supporters and well wishers had this single post on Saturday: "Mountains retained its favourite child.. R.I.P Malli Mastan Babu."
Babu was a top Indian mountaineer, having achieved the feat of becoming the "fastest seven summiteer" in the world (172 days in 2006, during which he climbed seven summits on seven days of the week in each calendar month). He is also the first Indian to summit Mt Vinson Massif, the tallest peak in Antarctica and the first person from Andhra Pradesh to scale the Everest.
Ministry of External Affairs expressed grief over Babu's death and said that the government is working with the authorities in Argentina and Chile to decide on future steps.
RIP #MalliMastanBabu. With his friends & family we are working with authorities in Argentina & Chile on next steps in a difficult situation.
— Syed Akbaruddin (@MEAIndia) April 4, 2015
Forty-year-old Babu, a native of 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.
An alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur and IIM-Calcutta, Babu had taken to mountain climbing after working as a software engineer for 3 years.