An alumnus of IIM-Calcutta and IIT-Kharagpur,Malli Mastan Babu has never been afraid of heights,having conquered top seven peaks in seven continents,all in 172 days. But now,Malli is about to set out on mother of all expeditions a 2,000-kilometre trans-Himalayan expedition in Nepal from Mount Everest to Kailash to analyse global warming on glaciers and snow-capped peaks.
The daunting expedition,which will start on September 10,is expected to be completed by January 15 next year,during which Malli will travel for about 132 days at a stretch in the ice-capped Himalayas.
I want make people aware of how glaciers in Himalayas are melting due to global warming,the impact of which is being felt in the plains too, Malli says.
During the course of his latest expedition,he will be conquering six peaks,all over 8,000 metres above sea level,like Mt Everest,Mt Lhoshe,Mt Choyu,Mt Manaslu,Mt Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Malli will come across a number of glaciers cutting across these peaks.
This summer,I was in Harkudun valley at the border of Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh where it was snowing in the month of April. The crops were destroyed. There was,however,no snow in winter,which is an indication of how things are changing, says the mountaineer-turned-environment crusader,who plans to blog his experience in the Himalayas with an internet service provider.
These days,Malli is trying to get sponsors,a difficult task,for the enthusiasts of adventure sports in India. I will be able to ascertain how the topography of those regions have changed compared to what it was few years ago,which can tell us something about what is happening at the Himalayan glaciers, says Malli,who was a PGDM student at IIM-C from 2002-04.
The 34-year-old mountaineer from Andhra Pradesh is also the fastest summiteer in the world and the first Indian to conquer the seven highest peaks.
In his alma mater of IIM-C,Malli is remembered as an athlete who bagged Dr BC Roy Award for his outstanding contribution to the adventure club on the campus.