The Dream, the Dare
The large-scale Toyota EverTest project is complete. For three months – April, May and June 2016 – the expedition united brave and strong-minded mountaineers who took the challenge of the world’s highest mountain, and legendary SUVs of the Land Cruiser family. The Land Cruiser 200 and the Land Cruiser Prado, unbeatable and designed for testing to the limits, have again proven their right to be called Ever Better Cars, travelling a path of 15,250 kilometers in extreme road and altitude conditions, providing reliable support to the expedition during the climb and coming back without a single failure. All the members of the united team were able to realize their ambitions, for they climbed Mount Everest, the highest mountain on the Earth.
Mount Everest, also known in Nepal as Sagarmāthā and in Tibet as Chomolungma, is Earth’s highest mountain. It is located in the Mahalangur mountain range in Nepal and Tibet. Its peak is 8,848 meters above sea level.
Tatiana Halyavskaya, Director of Marketing Department, Toyota Motor Russia, says, “In Toyota we always choose projects that bring to the edge of human and vehicles capabilities. It is part of our strategy. We never intended just to pull a vehicle on ropes as high as possible – if you want you can do that even with a fridge. Our goal was to support the brave and courageous people who decided to go for their dream and conquer the world’s highest summit: to comfortably and safely deliver the climbers to the base camp, minimize any inconvenience on the way and help them to save the maximum strength for the key effort.”
So was born the Toyota EverTest project based on a common ambitious idea – bringing together the unique peak, strong and spirited people and legendary Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs.
The Cars, The Route
Travel to the peak starts long before climbing it. For its conquering one chooses the most reliable companions, the most tested equipment and the most reliable cars.
Legendary SUVs Toyota Land Cruiser 200 and Land Cruiser Prado, without any special tuning were chosen to take climbers up the northern Everest base camp, covering a total path of more than 12,000 kilometers of the difficult road, climate and altitude conditions on the territory of Russia, Mongolia and China.
The expedition started 7,000 kilometers away from the Everest base camp, and it was essential to go all this way being sure the cars would not fail – on the way to the foot of Everest vehicles were to cross the mountainous regions with a dizzying mountain passes up to 5200 meters high, serpentines, broken roads and stone rubble.
Alexei Mochalov, the planner of the car expedition route, “The journey started in Ulan-Ude, Russia, and difficulties began right there as we drove through the fields and steppes to Ulan Bator. It was March, which means the roads were all dirt. We had three ice bridges on the way. But surely the Land Cruisers didn’t let us down even there.”
The People factor
Unlike the Toyota Land Cruisers that are able to go through serious testing as they are – with the standard equipment, people – the expedition members – require rigorous training and all possible moral and physical efforts in order to climb a peak of 8 848 meters.
Denis Provalov, speleologist, mountaineer, Guinness World Records holder, two-time Everest climber: “You have to train a lot. Before climbing Everest you need to climb as many other mountains as possible. And still nobody can guarantee that you will reach the top, and nobody will say it is absolutely safe. You have to learn to step back and take chances.”
Since all participants received thorough training and could use timely transportation in the event of getting sick, during the expedition all climbers stayed healthy, were able to make the most challenging climb and get back home safe.
Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Peaks Club, seven-time Everest climber, “Cars in the base camp were absolutely essential. We went down four times for successful acclimatization and in previous expeditions we could do it only once. This time we could afford driving down and having a good sleep. And this is not as easy as it seems. You have to drive fifty kilometers in order to lose one kilometer of altitude.”
We are not the first generation to wonder why people go to the mountains and demonstrate bravery to do something that has never been done before. It is not the desire to look down at the world from its top or a way to prove something – it’s a challenge to oneself. And it’s up to mountains, these centuries-old giants, to decide who can climb to the top and who cannot.
Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Peaks Club, seven-time Everest climber, “Sometimes the expedition leader understands that a climber is not ready and prevents him from going to the top. Because the climber cannot stop on his own, especially when the top is so close. The Everest is tempting, but people have to learn to swallow their pride.”
Upon coming back to Moscow, the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 and the Land Cruiser Prado had a full technical diagnostics at an official Toyota dealership. Despite the most severe operating conditions at altitudes of up to 5,374 meters above the sea level, the parameters of the various systems of both SUVs conform to the standards taking into account the covered mileage. There were no notes on the cars’ condition, and it only required replacing consumables.
But it was not the end of trials for the legendary SUVs. The cars are ready for new achievements and will soon add them to the chronicle of their victories by taking part in new large-scale projects and extending the Land Cruisers’ boundaries. More here