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The torchbearers brought the Olympic Flame to the summit of Mount Elbrus in a special lantern.

February 2, 2014

Standing at 5,642 meters above sea level in the Greater Caucasus mountain range, Mt. Elbrus has been a challenge for climbers from across the world ever since the first documented ascent of its eastern summit in 1829.

February 2, 2014

The higher western peak of Mt. Elbrus, itself an ancient dormant volcano, was first officially conquered only in 1874.

February 2, 2014

But the team of experienced Russian mountaineers was well-prepared for relaying the Olympic torch even at an altitude of 3.5 miles.

February 2, 2014

Torchbearer Karina Mezova (L) has climbed to the summit of Elbrus 130 times, while the president of the Climbing Federation of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Abdul-Khalim Elmezov (R) has climbed Elbrus more than 220 times.

February 2, 2014

The plan to take the Olympic Flame to the western peak of Elbrus was developed separately from the main Olympic Torch Relay route.

February 2, 2014

The photos of the Elbrus relay were released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on February 1, but the actual climb took place on October 22, 2013. It allowed to choose best possible weather conditions for the summit ascent, which would have been hardly possible in winter due to brutal weather with very strong winds.

February 2, 2014

  Factfile