Malli Mastan Babu, an ace mountaineer, and an esteemed alumnus was found dead on April 4th, after 11 days of searching since he went missing in the Andes mountain ranges in Chile. In addition to IIT Kharagpur, he was also an alumnus of IIM Calcutta, NIT Jamshedpur and Sainik School, Korukonda.
Mr Babu, an accomplished mountaineer, held a number of records and achievements. He had 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 was also the first Indian to summit Mt Vinson Massif, the tallest peak in Antarctica, and the first person from Andhra Pradesh to scale the Mt Everest. He completed the second version of the seven-summit circuit when he summited the Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia in October the same year. He was regarded as “The Tendulkar of the Mountains” and “a prodigy” by those with whom he had worked on expeditions before.
He had left home on December 16 for his trek in the Andes Mountains, which straddle the border between Argentina and Chile. The weather had turned bad soon after he had started his climb, and he had gone missing on March 24.
The Scholars’ Avenue salutes the free spirit of this gentleman. May his soul rest in peace.