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14 Jan, 2008 12:22

Russian climbers see in New Year on World's highest volcano

While most of us are happy with traditional New Year celebrations, some brave souls prefer extremes. A group of Russian climbers were on top of the world to see out the final seconds of 2007. They trekked to the top of world's highest volcano, Ojos del

Most Russians believe New Year's Eve is a family occasion, a time to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. 

But not for Maksim Shakirov and his friends who prefer mountain peaks to festive dinners. 

It's the eighth time he has skipped family celebrations. 

Maksim Shakirov is an organiser of a project called New Year at Absolute Heights, aimed at showing people how beautiful mountains can be. 

The project started in 2000 when the friends celebrated New Year on Elbrus. 

Montblanc, Kilimanjaro, the Andes, Fuji, Chimboraso and Olympus followed.  Maksim keeps a video diary of each climb, to keep it fresh in his memory. 

Maksim takes a Russian flag to each peak he tries to conquer. 

The lofty destination for 2009 hasn't been chosen yet.  But what he knows for sure is that he'll be on a mountain peak somewhere, with his friends and the Russian flag.