Olympic Flame reaches Europe's highest point
The Olympic Flame has been lit at the summit of Mt. Elbrus – the highest point in Europe – as part of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay.
The special project to take the flame to the western peak of Elbrus, at an altitude of 5,642 meters above sea level, was planned separately from the main Olympic Torch Relay route in order to ensure the best possible weather conditions for the climb.
At the end of October 2013, an ascent of the western summit was made by a team of experienced mountain climbers including Karina Mezova, who has climbed to the summit of Elbrus 130 times, and Abdul-Khalim Elmezov, the President of the Climbing Federation of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.
Under good weather conditions, the climbers reached the summit of Mt. Elbrus with the Olympic Flame in a special lantern before lighting a Sochi 2014 cauldron.
Mt. Elbrus lies in the Greater Caucasus mountain range and, while it is commonly called a mountain, it is actually a layered volcano, which last erupted around 2,000 years ago. It has long been popular among climbers, with the first documented ascent of the Eastern summit in 1829. The slightly higher Western peak was first climbed in 1874.
The main Olympic Torch Relay, meanwhile, is continuing its epic 123-day journey across Russia, which will culminate at the Opening Ceremony of Sochi 2014 on 7 February 2014.
The record-breaking 65,000km route has been designed to ensure that approximately 90% of Russia's population will be within an hour of the Relay at some stage, allowing around 130 million residents to participate in the event.
Find out more about the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners at http://torchrelay.sochi2014.com/en/Partners
More information on the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay can be found at http://torchrelay.sochi2014.com/en/