Geoscan specialists have climbed Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Russia and Europe (5642 m). Four technicians led by the CEO went to the mountains not only to gain new experience and challenge themselves but also to make sure Geoscan vehicles work fine in highland conditions.
Geoscan Gemini was tested at the altitude of 3800 m and it worked well. Pioneer Mini made its way to the summit in a pocket of one of the crew members. Geoscan 401 system took off from the altitude of 3850 m and it took it 10 minutes to reach the summit. The drone covered more than 5000 m distance and ascended for more than 1700 m at -10°С and 7-10 m/s wind speed and proved its reliability.
«03.30. We woke up, had a breakfast and equipped. It was quite warm at the cabins altitude so we didn‘t understand why we needed heavy coats. With head torches on we moved out. Only when ratrack brought us to the 5100 m altitude I realized how cold it was up there. At first everything was as if in a dream and the ascent was really challenging. You make a step, you breathe in. You make another step, you breathe out. We were almost out of consciousness due to the lack of oxygen and sleep. The guide told us there was a lot of hydrogen sulfide in the air, which made the ascent ever harder. 3 or 4 hour later we reached a saddle and halted. The day broke and we realized that it had taken us too long to reach this point and we were out of schedule.
From this moment we had to walk a steep hill and fasten to so-called safety guards. A group in front of us climbed very slowly: one guy couldn‘t stay on his feet so the guide kept helping him up. We lost the radio connection with Alexander who had to launch the 401 copter. Several hours later we climbed higher and managed to connect with him. He told us the copter was already launched and gone so we started to carefully look around in order to find it.
We had to make the final push to reach the summit, so we left all our belongings and moved out to the top. Once we were there we saw our copter! Ilya couldn‘t believe his eyes and first thought it was a hallucination caused by height sickness. We took a bunch of photos with the UAV, collected all our bags and drones and started to descend as it was growing dark. Back in the hotel we were super tired so we had a meal and went to bed. The weather next morning was sunny and calm but, unfortunately, we had to go home.», – the story told by our head engineer Vladislav Vasiliev (note: author's punctuation and spelling are preserved).
Here are some pictures taken during this journey!