Everest 2023: Miracle Rescues on Annapurna

In what can only be described as a miracle, Anurag Maloo, 34, was found barely alive deep in a crevasse. He disappeared three days earlier. Polish climbers Adam Bielecki, and Mariusz Hatala descended into the crevasse and found him. He was flown to Pokhara and then to Kathmandu and is in critical condition. Bielecki was on Annapurna trying a different route when he heard of the situation.

Maloo, an experienced climber, reportedly fell into the crevasse near Camp 3 around after abandoning his summit on Monday, April 17. Aerial and ground searches didn’t find him and were thwarted by poor weather. His family in India made an impassioned public plea to continue the search. His brother, Sudhir Maloo, wrote

Last week he had set out to climb Mount Annapurna, the 10th highest mountain in the world. It was without question that he will return after successfully summiting yet another peak. But in an unfortunate turn of events, he fell down from around 6,000m while descending from Camp III on 17th April, and since then has been missing. We are devastated. It feels like our worst nightmares have come true, but we cannot lose hope. We know that Anurag is out there somewhere, waiting for us. Help us find him by signing and sharing this petition.

Brazilian climber Moeses Fiamoncini and his Sherpa were near Maloo watching him rapell down a short twenty-five foot ice cliff when he rappelled off the end of a short rope, assumedly taking the wrong rope by mistake. After leaving the rope, he tumbled uncontrollably down the steep icy slope into the crevasse. Fiamoncini said they called out to him, but there was no response. Eventually, they had to leave as the weather worsened, and they were in an area that had avalanched two weeks earlier. ExplorersWeb posted several videos taken by Fiamoncini after the fall.

The rescue operation was coordinated by Seven Summits Treks founder Chhang Dawa Sherpa. A team of seven people returned to the crevasse where he was found. Bielecki and his climbing partner Mariusz Hatala rappelled into the crevasse that was reported to be almost 150 feet deep and found him clinging to life. Bielecki posted on Facebook, “I thought I was looking for a body in that crevasse 50 meters deep. Then I realized that he is alive.”

Amit Chowdhury, a board member of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA), told the BBC that, “A crevasse is warmer and well protected from wind. So if he was not badly injured, it’s not unusual that he survived in a crevasse.”

Anurag Maloo is a passionate advocate for Sustainable Development and made this post on December 11, 2022, International Mountain Day:
More than half of humanity relies on mountain freshwater for everyday life. Mountains are nature’s true jewels that we should treasure. As a climber, I treasure every moment I’ve lived on the mountains, and experienced closely how it has taught me some of the most important life lessons and also made me aware of the hardships of the mountain life. Life can be brutally challenging in the mountains. Mountains belong to everyone, to each one of us, and our identity is defined and interlinked with them. Mountains are my home, your home and our home.
Unfortunately, mountains are under threat from climate change and overexploitation. With the increasing global temperatures and alarming rate of warming of planet, melting of glaciers at unprecedented rates, affecting freshwater supplies downstream, and the increasing plastic waste, the mountain people face even much greater struggles to survive. This problem affects us all. We must reduce our carbon footprint and take care of these natural treasures. Their conservation is a key factor for sustainable development and is part of Goal 15 (Life on Land) of the UN SDGs.
Women are immensely contributing in the development of (rural) mountain economies. ‘Women move mountains’ is the theme for this year’s International Mountain Day 2022. It highlights the role of women as the true agents of change, and is an opportunity to promote gender equality and therefore contribute to improving social justice, livelihoods & resilience.
Through mountaineering expeditions, I am on the mission to bring attention towards how we can contribute to the sustainable management & development of mountain ecosystems and the promotion of local economies.
Another Indian climber, Baljeet Kaur, climbing with Nepali operator Pioneer, was also missing after her no O’s summit. For unknown reasons, she was left alone and became lost. However, a helicopter search found her alive at 24,000 feet, and she was rescued by long line to safety.
Meanwhile over on Manaslu, Stefen Nester reports that German climber Felix Berg and a client summited with no Os or support.

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