On May 19, 2012 at 6:15 a.m. Nepal time, Fedor Konyukhov together with the Russian team “7 Summits” stood on top of Mt. Everest. Their climbing route was via the Northern Ridge (Tibet). This expedition was devoted to two different events: the 20th anniversary of the first ascent of Mt. Everest by the Russians (via the Southern Col) and to the 20th anniversary of founding of the Modern Academy for the Humanities. Both of these events are very relevant to Fedor. Since 1999, he’s been employed by MAH as the head of the MAH Laboratory for Distance Learning in Extreme Conditions. Twenty years ago, on May 11th, 1992 together with Evgeniy Vinogradskiy, Fedor made his first ascent of Mt. Everest.
According to experts, the 2012 season has proven to be one of the most difficult anyone can remember. Due the persistent storms in March and April, the entire snow cover of Mt. Everest was smitten. The climbers had to climb on bare rocks or very dense ice. Several expeditions had to cancel their ascent this season. The “7 Summits” team did not depart from their original plan. This season they became the first European climbers to ascend Mt. Everest via the Northern Ridge. Here is what Alexander Abramov, leader of the expedition, has told us by phone: “Hello! Today, at 6 in the morning we, the first group of our expedition, were standing on top of Mt. Everest. There are 14 of us in this group: seven Sherpa and 7 climbers. And we had to stay there until 7 in the morning due to the fact that it was pitch dark and we had to wait for some light to make photos of all the flags that we carried. In the end, we were able to see the sunrise from on top of Mt. Everest. We were frozen like dogs, everything froze. At this moment we are already at the camp on the Northern Col: at the height of 7000 meters, away from imminent danger, drinking some hot tea. In 15 minutes we will continue our descent to ABC. What else is worthy of mentioning? Basically, everyone, except one person Aznor, had already been on top of Mt. Everest before. When we were about to reach the top, we let Aznor go ahead and be the first person in our group to step on top of the Mountain. Solemnly, we told him: ‘here is the rope; it is wide open for you now.’We were the first ones this year to summit Mt. Everest via the Northern ridge. Of course, the Sherpa were here before us to lay all the rope railings.”
This first group of the “7 Summits” expedition was composed of 7 people, most of whom are very experienced climbers: the leader of the expedition Alexandr Abramov – 4th ascent of Mt. Everest; medical personnel Sergey Larin – 5th ascent; Ivan Dusharin – 3rd ascent; Fedor Konyukhov- 2nd ascent; Maxim Shakirov – 2nd ascent; Lioudmila Korobeshko – 2nd ascent and Aznor Khadzhiev – 1st ascent. Aznor is the first citizen of Ingushetia to reach the top of Mt. Everest.
Fedor Konyukhov is the first priest of the first Russian Orthodox Church to successfully climb Mt. Everest. He took the icon of St. Nicholas to the Summit with him. The same icon of St. Nicholas traveled with Fedor on all 4 of his sailing circumnavigations.
Fedor Konyukhov is also the first Russian who was able to complete the seven summits between 1992 and 1997. This ascent of Mt. Everest, Fedor completed at the age of 60 and 5 months years old.
Congratulations to the “7 Summits” Mt. Everest expedition!
The General partner of the Mt. Everest expedition 2012 is the Modern Academy for the Humanities. Founded in October 1992 as the Modern University for the Humanities it was granted status of an “Academy” in 2003 by the Ministry of Education of Russian Federation, and subsequently was renamed to the Modern Academy for the Humanities (MAH). During the last 20 years MAH has trained and educated more than 300 thousands students.