Speed ascents to Elbrus or Elbrus Races - how it all begins
In the Soviet period speed ascent competitions on Elbrus slopes — from Mir station till Garabashi station and from Priut 11 till the col — were the part of training program for the members of the soviet Himalaya expeditions (1982, 1989). Elbrus was well-known for all seriuos Soviet mountaineers, as the mount's location is very comfortable and its height is enough for the race. It was considered to be a prestigious action — to take part in these races, and the strongest USSR climbers had competed there.
Now the Mount is the object of the International program «7 Summits» (climbing the highest tops of all continents). Elbrus is especially lucky nowdays — in spite it is the part of Caucasus, one can reach its bottom without special frontier guard's permit, the way along Baksan valley is comfortable and safe. Hotels in Terskol, Bochki huts, Priut 11 and the new modern hut some meters higher than Priut — do Elbrus climbs more and more comfortable, and from day to day a lot of groups go to their dream — Elbrus tops. But, exept some events — all of these climbs are of «tourist class». But 15-20 years ago those slopes were the place for serious mountaineers ambitions battles!
Vladimir Balyberdin was the first who had understood the annual Elbrus speed climb Championship perspectives. In 1989 he organized the first Elbrus race — from Priut 11 till the col. September was choosed with a special reson – it is the best season here. There is no ice on the route usually in September, and the whole way to the tops is oftrn safer than in other seasons. Next race was in 1990. Anatoly Boukreev was a legend of that races — he won in 1990 — and his result was 1 hour 47 min (Priut 11 — East top).
Taking into consideration the increase of the popularity of extreme sport and mountainering in Russia, the accommodation convenience in Elbrus region, the experience in organization of sport events Russianclimb.com and Top Sport Travel (high venture travel company, led by Nickolay Shustrov, Master of Sports in mountaineering, member of Balyberdin climbing team, 1990 Elbrus race participant with 5-th result (2h12min), Camel Trophy 93 participant) decided to reborn the tradition of speed climb competitions to the highest Europe point.
What arised of it, one can see at others pages on this site!
All those who have information about past races at Elbrus (event's details, or the names of participants, photos, etc.) - please send them to us! Will publish it, with reference to author of these materials!