Anurag Maloo: Looking for the Fourth Miracle

Once again, there is encouraging and nearly incredible news about Annapurna survivor Anurag Maloo.

“He is fully conscious, and off the ventilators, he recognized me, and smiled,” Prateek Gupta of ASC360, the insurance company covering Anurag Maloo’s rescue, told ExplorersWeb.

Gupta had just returned from visiting the patient in the Medicity Hospital in Kathmandu. Gupta said Maloo still can’t speak, but he has managed to communicate with the people around him.

“He asked me about other climbers and told me to take a selfie with him,” Gupta said. “It was such a great feeling.”

An unprecedented survival story

While coming down from a summit attempt on Annapurna last month, Maloo mistakenly rappelled down a cut rope and fell down an ice wall and then inside a crevasse between Camps 3 and 4. Neither climbers nor an aerial reconnaissance could find him the following day.

Most wrote him off as a casualty, but he miraculously survived three days in that frigid hole, situated on the most dangerous section of Annapurna. Rescuers Adam Bielecki, Mariusz Hatala, Lakpa Nurbu Sherpa, Chhepal Sherpa, Dawa Nurbu Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa, and Tashi Sherpa eventually reached the site. There, Bielecki and others descended into the crevasse.

To their astonishment, they found him alive — barely. They lifted him out of the crevasse, and a helicopter flew him to Pokhara, where doctors performed CPR on him for hours. Later that day, the climber was flown to a bigger hospital in Kathmandu. Since then, his condition has slowly improved.

Maloo is still not out of the woods. Some internal complications require advanced medical care. For that, an air ambulance is moving him tomorrow to Delhi, India.

There, he will be in the advanced care of AIIMS — the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Gupta said.

“So, we’re now hoping for the 4th miracle: a proper transfer to India,” said Gupta. The eight-hour transfer, with multiple changes of aircraft, remains risky for Maloo in his weakened state.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.