That is the motto of the Plovdiv Expedition that was organized in honor of the 100th anniversary from the first Bulgarian expedition that ever climbed the highest European peak Mount Blanc (4807 meters high). The anniversary expedition ?Mount Blanc 2003? is under the patronage of the Plovdiv Mayor, Mr.Ivan Chomakov.The first expedition ever to climb Mount Blanc was on August 8th 1786 by Jacque Balma and Dr. Michel Pakarre. That was the first peak climbed in a mountaineering manner. Therefore, that date August 8th has been celebrated as the Mountaineering Day ever since, and Mount Blanc became the mountaineering emblem worldwide.The Bulgarian doctor Ivan Maleev was the first Bulgarian who climbed the highest European peak on August 3rd, 1903 together with two French alpinists and he placed the name of his newly liberated mother country among all who succeeded to step on the top of Europe. Born in Plovdiv in 1881, he was a descendant of an eminent family from Koprivshtitza. He finished cum laude from the first male high-school ?Knjaz Alexander Batemberg? (today?s ?St.St. Cyril and Methodius? high school), then he studied medicine in the French city of Lion and specialized in pediatry in Berlin, Germany. He worked for a long time as a chief school doctor for the Sofia Municipality. He remained one of the most ardent Bulgarian mountaineers, and died at the age of 84 in 1964.Exactly a century after that memorable event, three Plovdiv mountaineers climbed the peak again, leaving a memorial sign up there bearing the Plovdiv coat of arms, saying in Bulgarian and in French the following words: ?1903 ? 2003; A hundred years after the first climbing of Mount Blanc?.
The participants in this expedition are as follows:Georgi Chernozemski ? leader of the expedition. Instructor. He has climbed various peaks in Bulgaria as well as abroad. At the moment, he runs a retail company trading with alpine and mountaineering equipment. He is the Chairman of the Extreme Sciences Club called ?Travels and Adventures?. Dipl.Eng. Lalka Obreykova ? an ardent mountaineer. That is her first serious climbing.Velina Yancheva ? still a schoolgirl but her family truly supported her, so that this climbing would remain unforgettable to her.Plamen Mihaylov ? an alpinist. He has climbed various peaks in Bulgaria and abroad. All the participants are members of the Extreme Sciences Club called ?Travels and Adventures?. From this group of four, only three stepped on the top of Europe (Lalka Obreykova decided not to participate in the final leg). The happiest of all was Velina, the 15-year-old schoolgirl from the Plovdiv English Language School.Now the Plovdiv team intends to fulfill 100% the scheduled program they set in advance ? to climb the most beautiful European peak, Materhorn (4471 m.) as well as the highest Austrian peak, Glossglockner (3798 m.). The alpinists are expected to come back home on August 11th.