ArmaSkin Ambassadors are a great bunch of people!
You'll find them on the positive side of messages about hiking, climbing, running and life in general.
Just now, two of our super active Ambassadors, Alaina and Aditya Rajagopal have ticked off another box on their multi year quest to tackle the Seven Summits, this time it is Mt Elbrus, Russia.
The Seven Summits are composed of each of the highest mountain peaks of each of the continents. Different lists include slight variations, but generally the same core is maintained : Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson, and the final one depends on whether one includes all of Oceania or only mainland Australia as the continent, which results in either Puncak Jaya (also known as "Carstensz Pyramid") or Mount Kosciuszko, respectively.
ArmaSkin is hoping that Alaina and Aditya choose Kosciuszko to bring them here to Australia.
And can you believe, an American couple travelling to Russia at a time of major international travel upheaval due to Covid? Are these folks for real?
Well it is fair to say that they have paid their dues and deserve a break! Alaina spent the early part of 2020 as an Emergency Medicine Physician on the Covid front lines in a busy Californian hospital. During 2020 she gave birth to their first child, Xavier. During 2020/21 Alaina initiated a regular podcast titled Emergency Docs which is listened to by medical professionals across the globe, and on the side as Co-Founder of Esperto Medical, she is enabling medical diagnostics in remote locations, whether that be in a person's home, the top of Mount Everest, or the surface of Mars.
And Aditya, was he just a stay at home Dad backing up Alaina? Not quite, as the inventor of a technology that would enable highspeed laboratory testing of samples for bio markers including the Covid virus, Aditya was busy creating a new business start-up, Chromacode. Over 2020/21 Chromacode has grown rapidly enabling hundreds of thousands of speedy and vital test results.
So back to Elbrus. Mount Elbrus is the highest and most prominent peak in Russia and Europe. It is situated in the western part of the Caucasus. The Mount, an extinct volcano, has twin peaks with the highest being 5,642 m (18,510 ft) .
Training for Elbrus for Alaina and Aditya had its own ups and downs!
Amongst other changes, Alaina said, "After all the National Forests were closed due to the wildfires, we had to make a quick revision to our training plan and headed to Telescope Peak in Death Valley."
And some of the training was restricted to indoor activities.
Finally in Russia, Alaina and Aditya as of 15 Sept had reached about 13,800ft. Being a major ski resort there is a handy stopover at this level.
And looking towards the summit, while there might be a temptation to take a gondala or a truck part way, like these hikers in the foreground the climb to the summit will be purely a physical challenge. And those snow capped summits, it won't be an easy journey!
When taking a rest day at the Pastukhov Rocks (15748 feet) the twin peaks of Mt Elbrus provided an imposing yet tantalising image against blue skies that can rapidly change.
18th September, and after leaving at just after midnight, the hike through ice and snow for the remaining 5000ft elevation was achieved. They arrived at the peak, elated, very tired and no blisters!
Congratulations to a super twosome!