On May 19, 2012, the 'Alpari: On Top of the World' team raised the Alpari flag on the world's highest point. Getting to the top certainly wasn't easy as unsually harsh conditions this season on Mount Everest have decreased the number of successful climbs. Winds of near hurricane strength have relentlessly assaulted the mountain's unforgiving slopes. And despite unusually cold tempatures, the season has seen practically no snow -- a factor which made the final push a whole lot trickier than it would have been.
Lyudmila Korobeshko, Ivan Dusharin and Maksim Shakirov spent more than a month on Everest, making a series of increasingly difficult acclimatization excursions which included spending nights in the oxygen-deprived air of the mountain's more advanced camps.
The path to the top of Everest is difficult and climbers must be able to negotiate several different types of terrain. The approaches to the final peak are always the most dangerous part of the climb -- even more so this year due to the lack of snow. Instead of a blanket of snow, the team encountered exposed rock and pure ice, which greatly increased the difficulty of the final ascent.
Team captain Lyudmila Korobeshko described making it through the final key part, "It was freezing cold and gusts of wind just about knocked us off our feet. There were a lot of places where the ground crumbled under your feet, making slipping down the rock face a real possibility. At one point I fell. My ropes weren't taut and I fell down a couple of meters." Despite Ivan's bad cough, which hadn't gotten better even for the final summit push, Lyudmila's temperature and Maksim's half-frozen fingers, the team managed a nighttime ascent to the very top of the world's highest mountain -- and then executed a safe descent.
We congratulate everybody on this outstanding accomplishment. The key summit in the project has been taken! Next up: Alaska's Mount McKinley, where the team will continue on its way towards setting the Russian record for speed in climbing the Seven Summits, and Lyudmila Korobeshko will resume her pursuit of the women's world speed record. The McKinley climb will start on June 20, 2012.
Check out more coverage, including video and photos from the team's Everest climb on the project's site: www.alpari-life.ru/en/.