Mountain Adventures - Elbrus Race

Elbrus Race  started Sep, 20 from Azau (2400 m), in 6 a.m. When six racers were already running up, altitude marshals informed by radio, that the weather conditions worsened: heavy snowstorm, strong wind, low visibility and a lot of fresh snow.  The race had been stopped, because the further climb wasn’t safe. Elbrus Race was postponed to the next day.


The Chief Marshal in late evening decided to set the race finish at 5000 m due to the same conditions. But Elbrus Race, in spite of all, corresponded totally to  its slogan “You can’t race any higher in Europe!”


The Race restarted Sep, 21 in 7 a.m.

This year the Elbrus Race main intrigue was the competition between Catalan Kilian Jornet, who’s well-known for records on Mont Blanck and Matterhorn,  and Russian Vitaly Shkel, the skyrunning Champion in Russia.

Who will be the winner – that was number one question  for media, climbers and mountain runners.


Elbrus Race was completed successfully, and showed the great surprise: in the extremely hard fight the both athletes reached the finish line at 5000 m simultaneously, with the result 2 hrs 37 min 06 sec.  The average speed of their climb was 16 vertical meters gain per 1 minute! (16 meter is more or less altitude of standard 5-stores house – so try to walk by ladder to 5 store within 1 minute  and repeat it 173 times!!!)

The great result showed also Polish athletes Daniel Choinacki (he became the third in the race) and Blazej Lyjak. Among the athletes, who run Classic route (the route from Barrels rufuge till 5000 m) the winner was Valentin Vergiljush (who was the Winner in International Elbrus Race in 2009). The second was Russian Alexander Popov, the third was American Todd Gilles.


VIII International Elbrus Race became the bright sport event: the strongest runners, professional marshals team, the fast decisions in the bad weather conditions.

The main question –is that possible to beat Andrzej Bargiel’s record (2010), stays unsolved.

This year, in spite of weather, the sport enthusiasm and climbing solidarity led on this race.

The competition was carried out under the patronage of Ministry of Sport and Tourism of Republic Kabardino-Balkaria,

International Elbrus Race organizers: TOP SPORT TRAVEL ( and WWW.RUSSIANCLIMB.COM.

The general sponsor: NPF BASK (

There’re actual Elbrus records, set in International Elbrus Rаces:

Andrzej Bargiel (Poland)  from Azau to West Elbrus top showed the result 3 hrs 23 min 37 sec (2010)

Svetlana Sharipova (Kazakhstan) has established the women's record at the route from the Barrels, which lasts till now: 3 hrs 21 min 29 sec. This is so far the absolute female record in speed climb of the highest point of Europe from the Barrels. (2006)

Anton Proshenko (Russia)  on Barrels-West top route showing time 2 hrs 28 Min 02 sec! (this is so far the absolute speed record ascent on Mount Elbrus from Barrels). (2012)

Elena Laletina

Nickolay Shustrov