PYATIGORSK, Russia, February 1 (RIA Novosti) – The Olympic torch was carried to the top of Europe's highest peak four months ago in secret, Russian officials said Saturday.

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The torch was carried and lit at the summit of Russia’s southern Mt. Elbrus in October by two local climbers, Karina Mezova and Abdul-Khakim Elmezov, in order to beat the onset of winter weather that would have rendered the trip impossible, organizers said.

The announcement came as the 123-day relay, which ends in Sochi on February 7, entered the region of Kabardino-Balkaria, where the 5,642-meter (18,500-foot) mountain is located.

Organizers said the climb was kept secret to save the announcement for the official visit of the torch to the region, but security concerns may have also played a role.

Three tourists were killed in terrorist attacks on a ski lift and minibus near Mt. Elbrus in 2011.

© RIA Novosti.

Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay

Unlike in the rest of Russia, the relay stages of the torch in the turbulent North Caucasus have been short and mostly confined to well-secured urban areas and stadiums.

Routes through some of the more dangerous areas were cut following a pair of suicide bombings in the nearby city of Volgograd in December that claimed 34 lives.

The torch has also been carried by Russians to the North Pole and in Earth orbit during a spacewalk by cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station.

News Source : PYATIGORSK, Russia, February 1 (RIA Novosti) – The Olympic torch was carried to the top of Europe's highest peak four months ago in secret, Russian officials said Saturday.

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