It was a moment of pride for adventure sports enthusiasts, as two young mountaineers from Andhra Pradesh created a record of sorts by scaling Mount Elbrus in Russia, which is the highest peak in Europe, and displaying a 50-ft Indian tricolour atop the summit at 5,640 metres.
The team consisting of Satya Rao of Bagarampalem (Visakhapatnam), Raghunadh Reddy of Tadepalli (Guntur), Poorna Malavath, Varsha Rahul of Pune and Vidya of Telangana created this record. Incidentally, Poorna Malavath is a world record holder and the youngest woman to climb Mount Everest.
According to Adventure Sports Director R. Reddy, the duo from Andhra Pradesh reached the summit of Mt. Elbrus on Thursday (7.30 a.m. Moscow time) and displayed a flag along with a picture of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Mount Elbrus is situated between the Black and Caspian seas on a territory of the Russian Federation, 20 km from the Georgian border. “Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano and the last explosion occurred about 2,000 years ago. The two summits of Elbrus are, in fact, two craters of volcano. Everywhere on its slopes you can see debris of solidified lava,” says Mr. Reddy.
The team was inspired by the late mountaineer Malli Masthan Babu and the encouragement shown by the Youth Services Department of Andhra Pradesh for the recent Mount Everest expedition, for the arduous Mt. Elbrus expedition. Mr. Satya Rao was one the six mountaineers who climbed Mt. Everest on May 13 this year, and this is his second peak.
The Mt. Elbrus team underwent a fitness regimen under the watchful eyes of weightlifting coach of the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) V.N. Rajasekhar.
Mr. Ragunath Reddy, who worked as the trekking guide for the recently concluded Mt. Everest expedition, offered his guidance.
The team flew to Russia on July 21 and reached the base of Mt. Elbrus on July 22. The team climbed up to 3, 500 metres on July 23 to get acclimatised to the weather and returned to the base camp.
On July 24, the team climbed 3,500 metres and stayed there for a night.
On Thursday, it successfully reached the summit of Mt. Elbrus.
Mr. Reddy said that the team, after the fruitful completion of the expedition, would reach Vijayawada on August 1.