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Vladimir Lenin, 1897, in Siberian exile

Concern rises over missing American who aimed to climb Peak of Love

By The Siberian Times reporter
30 March 2016

Colin Madsen, 25, enjoyed night-walking in Siberia but never came back after going out on Sunday.

Madsen, a postgraduate student, had come to the thermal tourist resort in Buryatia with friends, including another American, from the Irkutsk State Linguistic University. Picture: Facebook

Police have failed for the third day to locate the US citizen after he left a guest house in Arshan at around 3am on Sunday and vanished. The case has been put under the 'special control' of the Moscow department of the Russian Invesigative Committee, sometimes called the Russian FBI, and the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Madsen, a postgraduate student, had come to the thermal tourist resort in Buryatia with friends, including another American, from the Irkutsk State Linguistic University.

Colin Madsen


Colin Madsen

'He liked to walk at night in Irkutsk, often talked about it - all the students knew about this hobby.' Picture: Facebook

The group had agreed to rise at 5am to climb the 2412-metre high Peak of Love (7,913 feet), a mysterious mountain in the Eastern Sayan range. But he left two hours earlier, not suitably dressed for night time subzero temperatures.

'He has not been seen since,' said a source at the institute. His cellphone remained at the guest house. Madsen is described by the source as leading a 'healthy lifestyle' and did not drink alcohol. 

'He liked to walk at night in Irkutsk, often talked about it - all the students knew about this hobby,' he said.

Guest house


Police search

Guest house where tourists stopped for the night. Flier with Colin's pictures and description spread by police. Pictures: Vlad Rasputin

Mr Madsen is from Jefferson City, Missouri, and is understood to speak good Russian.

A representative of local Investigative Committee Yuri Yerentuev said: 'We held a large-scale survey on the village, walked down the Kyngarga River, and in the nearby forest, but nothing so far.'

Even local shamans - who blame tourists for getting into trouble because they do not respect ancient traditions and honour 'sacred' sites - are helping with the search. The Republic of Buryatia is a Buddhist region. 

Peak of Love


Peak of Love


Peak of Love

The Peak of Love is the focus of ancient beliefs about the power of spirits. Pictures: Angara.net, Typical Irkutsk, Baikalov.ru

Poor weather is preventing helicopter searches. Friend Vlad Rasputin said: 'With the money that we are able to collect, we would like to order an aerial search for Colin, but today the weather is terrible, very cold.

'It snows and there are strong winds, so the flight was moved to tomorrow. I asked the police whether they were looking for Colin with dogs. They said that in the morning when Colin vanished, it began to snow. So dogs cannot pick up the trace.'

The Peak of Love is the focus of ancient beliefs about the power of spirits.

Comments (7)

I have climbed some of that peak in the summer of 2006.
Ashan is a small town on the slopes at the base of the mountain- it is next to a cold mountain stream/river.
The town has many fur/pine trees in it and around it. The town has a basic feel - wooden buildings with some dirt streets.
The mountain in summer has long grasses and flowers as the pines give way to rocky slopes and snow further up. It is quite steep.
Afternoon thunderstorms common in summer. It is a beautiful area.
Sorry for your loss.
Do visit Ashan though.
Andrew, New Zealand
31/10/2017 03:25
0
0
A Mother's nightmare. I also believe the dogs would be helpful. Knowing the free spirit and unique curiosity for life that Colin has, I still believe he will be found or just walk in on his own. I have to feel positive for him it is the only way. I support Dana with all my heart. Colin is smart and very adventuresome, I will not give up hope of his rescue. Stay with your instincts Dana. A Mother's Love can beat all odds. ♡♡♡♡ wish I could help. Staying positive for reunite.
.
Flo Emmendorfer , centertown Missouri
03/04/2016 11:32
3
0
Please pray for Colin and his family. A young man with a bright future.
James Liebherr, Freelandville Indiana
02/04/2016 17:46
2
0
Praying for him @ his family !
terri hoffman, Brazil Indiana USA
02/04/2016 08:53
2
1
Please do all you can to find Colin, we praying for his safe return. Prayers for his family and all rescue parties
Jennifer Blackmore , Lees Summit, Missouri USA
01/04/2016 03:55
6
0
I think the cell being left behind was his was to let people know something was going wrong. I pray I'm wrong. I truly do. Facebook has done wonders.You may think no one will know someone in these areas.Not true. We can get the word out worldwide. Please share. Please pray.
Juliane Perry, Grandview USA
31/03/2016 23:39
6
0
I realize many highly trained people and equipment are being brought to bear to search for Colin and continued thank you to everyone. Although challenging weather conditions can hamper dogs, I hope mountain rescue dogs will be given a chance to try to find Colin as his friend Vlad is suggesting.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
31/03/2016 02:27
16
11
1

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