In Memory of Murad Ashurly

This interview was written in late May of last year. Murad had just returned from a trip to the Himalayas, where he performed a successful ascent to Mount Everest. He was happy and proud of his achievement.

Living in recent years in the US, he did not forget about Azerbaijan.

The interview was conducted via Skype. Smile never left the face of this powerful good man, who was more like a weightlifter than a climber.

However, the list of peaks conquered by him indicates the high class and tenacity of the climber.

Murad tragically died in an accident on October 21 during the descent from Ama Dablam.

We express our deepest condolences. 

Murad Ashurly: I Am Proud that I Raised the Flag of Azerbaijan over Everest

May 19 for the third time in the history the Azerbaijani flag was raised above the highest point of the planet - Mount Everest (8848 m). It was made by our fellow countryman Murad Ashurly in the international expedition "7 Summits".

May 21 Murad Ashurly together with other members of the assault team descended to the base camp at an altitude of 6300 meters. Turan was able to contact him on Skype and interview him.

"The ascent took place on the north side (China, Tibet). We went out to the assault at midnight on May 18 from the assault camp at an altitude of 8300 meters. The rise took several hours. It was cold - about minus 30, but tolerable. Most importantly, there were not other expeditions on the route, and we went through without delay. The state of our health was good, but location at an altitude above 8,000 meters cannot go without any trace, even with an oxygen cylinder. So, 20 hours was spent on the training, ascent and descent from the summit. This was very hard, but I'm happy that I raised the flag of Azerbaijan over Everest," said Ashurly.

"As a member of the Mountaineering Federation of Azerbaijan, I dedicate this climb to the 95th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which will be celebrated on May 28. I am proud that I was able to accomplish this task," said the climber.

As the climber said, a feature of this year was that the snow depth was low. Moving through stones, we got more and more tired. Especially dangerous were the last hundred meters, when it was necessary to go through a narrow strip above a kilometer-deep precipice, where one wrong step could be the last.

Additional problems were created by the old ropes of the previous expeditions, as sometimes we clung to them and fell, but there were no serious problems.

Unfortunately, at the time of our ascent on the southern side of the summit, one of the best climbers of Russia, Alexei Bolotov fell from a height of 5600 meters and died. Unfortunately, climbers die every year on Everest - often very strong and well-known ones. Such is the character of the highest peak.

The members of the expedition "7 summits" were able to complete the climb without loss or injury, although not all members of the team of 12 people reached the summit, said the climber.

"As it turned out, the most difficult thing happened to me at the top, where at bitter cold we had to get the cameras to take photos. The batteries were frozen after a few seconds, I had to change them, but the new batteries also froze in a few seconds. During this time, we managed to take several photos with our flag and I'm glad they came out," said Ashurly.

To the question what he wanted to convey to the public of Azerbaijan and his fellow climbers from Mount Everest, Ashurly said, "You know, Margaret Thatcher said a remarkable phrase that all climb Everest for themselves, but each raises the flag of his country above the top.

In everyone's life there is a lot of Everest - difficulties and problems that must be solved, goals to which he aspires. I wish success to all our citizens in the name of our common goals, in the name of our common country."

"I also know that our climbers have specific problems that are not related to sports. First of all, I urge them not to be discouraged and give up. We - the climbers are right and we need to clearly, firmly and consistently defend our rights. Injustice is not eternal or infinite," said Ashurly.

40-year-old Murad Ashurly was educated in Moscow and in the recent years has become the top manager of one of the leading telecommunication companies in the United States.

For the first time the Azerbaijan flag was raised over Everest in 1999, and for the second time - in 2007. -02B-



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