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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Climbers Celebrate

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Celebrating with ice cream and cigarettes, three Russians have returned to civilization after making the first successful midwinter ascent of Mount McKinley, North America's tallest peak.

The three were flown Wednesday from a base camp at 2,200 meters to the nearby town of Talkeetna, where they were greeted by a crowd of reporters and well-wishers.

Two of the three -- Arthur Testov, 32, of Ryazan, and Vladimir Ananich, 40, of Moscow -- reached McKinley's 6,194-meter-high summit last Friday. Alexander Nikiforov, 29, of Ryazan, had remained at a camp at 4,300 meters.