YEREVAN(Public Radio of Armenia) — “Only mountains can be better than mountains,” famous Tbilisi-based Armenian mountaineer Lev Sarkisov says. Sarkisov first discovered his love for mountains, when working at the Tbilisi Aviation Factory where a group of mountain climbers there were organizing periodic expeditions.
In 1962, the group decided to climb Kazbek, the highest peak of the Caucasus Mountains.
Sarkisov later joined the mountaineer group of the Armed Forces and worked as a coach for a long time.
Sarkisov is one of the few Armenians to have climbed Everest – the highest peak in the world. In 1999, he was recognized by the Guinness book of world records as the oldest mountaineer to conquer the highest peak.
He climbed Mount Ararat four times and took the Armenian tricolor to the peak. “Taking the Armenian flag was a great risk. I could have been arrested had the flag been found in my rucksack. I bought fabric of three colors at a store in Bayazet and sew the flag at the hotel,” he said.
In 1999, Georgian President Edward Shevarnadze awarded him with an Order of Honor. He’s also the recipient of Snow Leopard award, a Soviet mountaineering award, given to climbers conquering all five peaks of 7,000m and above located in the former USSR.
Even at 78, Lev Sarkisov is ready to take the road to mountains.