Elbrus is a stratovolcano in the Caucasus Mountains (5642 meters above sea level) and the highest mountain in Russia and Europe, which means it is one of the Seven Summits.
Three brave employees of the Tactical Missiles Corporation were able to conquer the peak. Nikolay Khamaev, Ivan Korobkin and Bitaly Stupnev work at the Design Bureau.
Only five days turned out to be nice in early May. It was the minimum needed for conquering Elbrus. The ascent began from Terskol village at 2100 meters above sea level. One gets altitude sickness at such heights, if he or she doesn’t acclimatize previously. In order to avoid this, the guys climbed higher and higher every day and then descended again. It’s the “climb-high, sleep-low” approach, which takes 5-7 days.
The ascent took place from April 27 till May 6. The temperature at the summit fluctuated from -23 to -41°С, but it wasn’t noticeable due to bright sunshine and physical exercise.
Up high the sun is violent, damaging the skin, the wind is chilling and strong, adding freeze burns. So the alpinists’ clothes look like those of the astronauts. In order to climb the ice people put on special equipment, which is called crampons. Due to the lack of oxygen every step is very hard to make, as if weights were strapped to the legs.
Summiting is ascending from 3800 meters to 5642 meters with visiting the peak. It starts at the seventh day of the acclimatization. But climbers often have to wait for good weather. Strong wind, snow and clouds are very dangerous in the mountains due to low visibility. There are cracks in the ice closer to the peak. Their depth can reach dozens or even hundreds of meters and even experienced alpinist can fall into one of those. That is why summiting starts very early in the morning, so as to reach the peak by afternoon. Later the clouds gather at the peak, and it is easy to lose one’s way.
The climb began at midnight, and almost at 4PM the alpinists descended: exhausted, but happy. That is how Tactical Missiles Corporation’s flag, as well as the one of Korolyov (town in Moscow oblast) got to the highest point in Europe.