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ELBRUS RACE 2007

Race Report

Elbrus Bowing to the Runners Again

On the 12th of September 2007 the III ELBRUS RACE competitions to the Western Summit of Elbrus (5642 m) were over, among the participants there were athletes from three countries: Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Poland were over. This time the eminent mountaineering runners from Kazakhstan, champions of 2006 Competitions D. Urubko, A. Puchinin and S. Sharipova did not take part in the races; all of them stormed summits above 8000 m high.

However, the geography of the participants from Russia extended: Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Samara, Lysva, Magnitogorsk, Nevinnomyssk, Tenerda, Terskol. The competitions were carried out in two classes: Classic and Extreme.

Qualification contest up to the Pastukhov Rocks was scheduled for the 10th of September, but the night before the 10th September a fierce snowstorm with thunder and hurricane broke out and the visibility fell down to 0. All this lasted about 36 hours. The officials decided to cancel the qualification.

The day before the main starts the weather had softened. It became clear, cool, but windy; on the day of the races the wind, sometimes very strong, was blowing constantly, some of the mountaineers even had slight frostbites.

Now let us pass to the results. In Extreme –the race from the valley Azau (2400 m) up to the Western Summit – the champion was Semen Dvornichenko from Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) with the result of 4 hours18 minutes. Last year Denis Urubko had 3 hours 55 minutes 58 seconds, but considering the fact that Semen is only 26 and it was blowing hard, Urubko’s record cannot be regarded as unshakable. The second one was Sergey Surmonin from Moscow, with the time of 6 hours 14 minutes.

In Classic from Bochki up to the Western Summit there was a hot contest for the first place between the Russian Roman Gubanov (who was the second last year) and Sergey Siliverstov from Kyrgyzstan, who had run from the  valley Azau last year and was the third. Gubanov won with the time of 2 hours 51 minutes 38 seconds, Sergey was 2 minutes behind.

I would like to congratulate Mr. Roman Gubanov individually on his success in climbing the world’s second summit K-2 (8611 m), as a member of the expedition of Krasnodar, from which he returned less than a month ago. As to the ladies, the winner was Yekaterina Andreevna, also from Kyrgyzstan, with a very decent result of 3 hours 41 minutes, which she achieved on her 20th birthday; she has got the whole world before her except Lenin Peak she won last summer.

I congratulate all the participants with the victory over themselves and the mountain, and all volunteers are welcome to the next races over the slopes of Elbrus next year.

On behalf of all the participants and the officials I express my sincere gratitude to the chief facilitator of the competition – the company of Top Sport Travel and personally to its head, Master of sports Nikolay Shustrov.

Arbiter of the competitions, Master of Sport                                                                  V. Balukin


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Results

RESULTS
III ELBRUS RACE 
SEPTEMBER, 12, 2007

«Extreme» class. Route: Azau (2400 m) — Elbrus West Top (5642 m)

 

N

Name

Country

Born

Number

Azau 2400 m

Garabashi 3708 m

Saddle 5369 m

Top 5642 m

Result

Place

1

Dvornichenko Semen

Kyrgyzstan

12.12.80

3

6:00:00

7:23:40

9:40:00

10:18:00

4:18:00

1 m

2

Surmonin Sergey

Russia

02.03.68

11

6:00:00

7:42:16

11:11:00

12:14:00

6:14:00

2 m

3

Klosovich Peter

Poland

01.12.84

18

6:00:00

8:06:32

12:15:00

didn't reach

-

-

4

Kamenskikh Victor

Russia

25.02.61

19

6:00:00

7:36:45

11:59:00

didn't reach

-

-

 

«Classic» class.  Route: Garabashi (3708 m) — Elbrus West top (5642 m)

 

Name

Country

Born

Number

Garabashi 3708 m

Saddle 5369 m

Top 5642 m

Result

Place total

Place

1

Chetverikov Yuri

Russia

04.02.78

13

7:00:00

10:59:00

didn't reach

-

-

-

2

Gubanov Roman

Russia

12.03.73

12

7:00:00

9:19:00

9:51:38

2:51:38

1

1 м

3

Kuznetsov Vladimir

Russia

25.05.56

5

7:00:00

10:20:00

11:19:00

4:19:00

6

5 м

4

Filippov Dmitry

Russia

05.11.68

1

7:00:00

09:55:00

10:37:27

3:37:27

4

4 м

5

Silin Mikhail

Russia

25.01.80

7

7:00:00

11:30:00

12:50:00

5:50:00

7

6 м

6

Fursov Sergey

Russia

02.10.82

15

7:00:00

09:37:00

10:14:43

3:14:43

3

3 м

7

Andreeva Ekaterina

Kyrgyzstan

12.09.87

2

7:00:00

10:00:00

10:41:00

3:41:00

5

1 w

8

Seliverstov Sergey

Kyrgyzstan

04.11.79

17

7:00:00

09:20:00

9:53:35

2:53:35

2

2 м

9

Elmezov Abdulhalim

Russia

04.05.57

10

-

-

-

-

-

-

10

Sushko Pavel

Russia

19.02.57

12

-

-

-

-

-

-

Arbiter                                                                         Balukin Vitaly

Head of Organizing Committee                                      Shustrov Nickolay


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Participants' feedback

Silin Mikhail (Saint-Petersburg),
participant of Elbrus Race competitions in 2006-2007

The decision to participate in ELBRUS RACE competitions this September was made as early as last autumn. That time I could only make 5000 m, because I was not acclimatized enough.

Now, on the third of September my plane lands in Mineralnii Vodi, Olga meets me and drives me to the territory close to Elbrus. On entering Baxan gorge I see a great number of the Road Patrol Service cars. I ask Olga what has happened and learn that the evening before my arrival at Tyrnauz the officer in command of the local police had been gunned down in his own apartment, and this morning a bomb was blown in front of the police division in that very Tyrnauz. We could not pass by the Road Patrol without showing our document.

On checking in the hotel “Elba”, where the racers stayed last year, I meet Dima Filippov. He had come to Elbrus Region a few days earlier than me, and today he has arrived at Bochki.

September 4, Morning. I cannot sleep. I get up at 6 a.m. and take a morning jog to Terskol stadium and back. After the breakfast Mukhud drove me to Azau. Thoroughly satisfied, I am moving up to Novy Krugozor (New horizon) by a new cable car. Having settled in the hut and left my luggage there, I made my first acclimatization ascent to the Pastukhov Rocks. There at tea I met Ania Petrova, the guide and a participant of the last year’s speed racing.

September 5. Dima is going to climb Bochki after lunch, and I have got enough time to take a walk to the Refuge of the Eleven. The weather is fine, the sky is cloudless. I climbed to the height of 4200 m and was sunbathing for three hours.
It should be noted that the summer is broiling hot. Olga told me that local inhabitants did not remember such a hot summer. This fact is proved by open cracks, a great deal melted glacier on Elbrus and rockslides. While I was sunbathing and enjoying the sun after the gloomy Petersburg weather, the thawed out boulders were constantly rumbling behind my back. And in the evening, as I returned to Bochki I learned that the guys, who lived in the same hut with me had nearly been killed with a boulder a meter and a half high.

September 6. It was thundering and hailing at night, and now the slope is covered with a pimply crust of ice. Every evening one may see summer lightings over Donguzorun. And the day before bolts of light beyond Ushba flashed so as to cover half the night sky. It was an astonishing sight. Today we are to ascend 5000 m. Dima and me go out as early as possible, unhurriedly, and move upwards. As we reach the beginning of the “slanting”, Dima moves on and on confidently and I follow him. It is crucial that I should pass the slanting today and reach the saddle. Last year I ascended up to 5145 m. And in a way it is a psychological barrier for me. I move carefully, skirting the cracks which open right on the path. They look very much like sewage wells. They are small round openings in the slope. Many thanks to the guys from Bochki, they warned me yesterday evening. Dima disappears behind the bend of the slope; I look at the GPS and see that I have ascended to the height of 5150 m. Aha! We have done it! Twenty minutes later I come to the saddle of Elbrus. What a magnificent sight!!! However, there was something I saw on my left to sober me up a bit. There is the ascent to the Western Summit with a drop of 300 m. Keep cool. We shall solve problems as they come up! We are not going there today, and it is when we do that we shall exert ourselves. And now let us have some tea from the thermos, take a picture or two, and get down, for the first cloud is already peeping from behind the Western Summit.

The descent is also a special thing. At this time the sun is grilling heartily. We have got to descend now wading through wet slush, now fording the numerous streams. As a result I finish each descent to Bochki with my feet wet. But it does not matter. Today Dima and me have done a great job and now we are ravenous. “We could eat a horse” we tell our cook and she gives us a really delicious and nourishing supper. Many thanks!!!

September 7. The referees and the most of the racers are to come today. We go down to have some rest. We decided to descend from Bochki to Elba on foot. As we approach Azau I notice a camel grazing at the slope. A camel near Elbrus! Shall I believe my eyes? It turns out that I shall not. For a long time Dima and me were taking pictures of that “proud” ship of the desert, thrown by its fortune to a mountain gorge. At the turn to Cheget Valley Mukhud’s bus stops near us and we meet Vitya Kamenskikh, a participant of the last year races and Vitaly Baliukin, the Chief referee of these competitions, they get out of the bus and come up to us. We have not seen each other a year and we have got something to tell each other, but the guys are to ascend Peak Peace today. Vitya is planning to run in the Extreme class this year, and he is doing his best. Well, we will meet later. The next encounter is also full of surprise. In Cheget Valley we meet Tatiana Ivanovna Timoshenko, Yulia Chunosovsa, Zhenia Kolchanov, Dima Drachev and Andrey Nefedov-—— the referees from Saint-Petersburg. A bit later, in Narzan Valley, we meet some guys from Kirghizia: Sergey Seliverstov, Semen Dvornichenko and Katia Andreeva. I have not seen Sergey since last September. And that very day Sergey Suromnin came to Terskol. And in the evening Yuri Chetveriakov, one more racer from Petersburg, who got to Mineralnyii Vody with a great number of transport changes, comes to Elba.

September 8. I get up as early as possible. The whole hotel is still sleeping. I took a jog to the hotel Wolfram in Terskol, and on my way back I went 30 times up the stairs of Narzan Valley. It is there that I met Alik Demidenko, who was warming up in the morning before the acclimatization outing to Kogutai with two foreigners.

September 9. The people from Petersburg have brought bad weather to Elbrus Region. Therefore the opening of the competitions in Azau Valley took place in quite a Spartan atmosphere, during an interval between rains. Besides the participants who had come before there were also Sergey and Kuznetsov from Samara, a participant of the Elbrus Speed Climb in 2005. We ascended Bochki. It turned out that the hut where Dima and me had left our luggage was locked. We ask where the keys are. They are in the kitchen. Sergey, the commandant gave us back the keys and said that he had lodged two more girls in our hut. Well, we will have more fun. However, it was a bit different. The girls turned out to come from the Republic of South Africa and were in the habit of leaving ALL the doors of the hut wide open, even at night. Were they afraid of us?


September 10. The qualification start, scheduled for 10 a.m., is cancelled. Referee Dima Drachev, who was appointed to meet the participants at the Pasrukhov Rocks, could not even get to the Refuge of the Eleven due to the thick fog.

September 11. Sergey Seliverstov has at last made up his mind to run in the class Classical. The guys from Kirghizia cherished the dream of taking all the gold from the competitions with them. In the class Extreme, in the class Classical, and the women also were going to win the gold, for Katia Andreeva was the only representative of the “weaker” sex. However by the evening the alignment of forces has changed radically. With the sunset Roma Gubanov ascends to Bochki. The local guide, who won the second place in the Classica last year and has just returned from an expedition to K2. For Sergey Seliverstov Roman’ appearance is absolutely unexpected and the rest of the evening we observed Sergey fidgeting. We also had learned the day before, that Abu, a local rescuer, a legend of Elbrus region and the pride of the locals, would not race.

September 12. I get up at five a.m. I have not actually slept at night. At one a.m. our neighbors rose and began preparing for the ascent although the snowcat that brought them to the Pastikhov Rocks was to take them at 4 a.m.. Five a.m. We rise. The morning is cool and the sky is pure before dawn. I go to the glacier and inspect the condition of the snow. It is virtually névé. We might try to go without crampons, for on the sixth of September I ascended the saddle in simple tracking shoes without crampons. After some meditations I decide to go in light shoes, but with crampons on.

7 a.m. We are heading for the summit. Roman and Sergey have pulled clear of the rest by leaps and bounds, other participants rushed after them. The contest between the leaders continued throughout the whole track. Both the participants reached the summit with only two minutes’ difference. As to me, when I was approaching the Pastukhov Rocks, a crampon found itself in my hand and I decided to put on the plastic shoes I had taken with me and to fit the crampons to them. While I was changing my shoes, Yura and Katya passed by me, followed by Semen Dvornichenko who had started in Azau! Forty five minutes later I stepped on the beginning of the “slanting”. It was blowing so hard here that I had to move inclining to the slope. At the height of about 5200 m I turn round and see Sergry Surmonin a hundred meters below me. I pause and take some sips of tea with lemon. In a minute or two Sergey catches up with me and goes upwards saying: “Lets go on, I am dropping with fatigue”. I follow him and see Katya descending towards me, spry and satisfied. I can hardly believe she is already descending from the summit. Well done! It is a wonderful present for her twentieth birthday.  At 11.30 I reach the referee tent on the saddle, have a few minute’s respite and launch on the final ascent. Unlike before, the wind helps me here blowing into my back and driving me on. Sergey Surmonin appears from behind the bend of the path and says: “Go on, there are about twenty meters left to the turn, and then about a hundred meters to the summit, it is not more than fifteen minutes’ walk!”. After these words I literally run out to the plateau and see the precious summit. To my surprise I find no referee tent on the summit. It turns out that the participants have run the distance so quickly that the referee, Dima Drachev and Andrey Nefedov, who came out to the summit from the saddle just did not have enough time to pitch it. Andrey literally had to run in order to record the running time of the leader at the top. To the place at the summit where the referees sat I had to go upwind again, and I scrambled up to them with great difficulty, pausing several times to have a rest. At last I am at the highest point of the summit. A sip of tea, a few minutes for taking pictures and we descend to the saddle. We remove the referee tent and continue descending to Bochki. Having passed the whole “slanting” and being a bit above the Pastukhov Rocks, Andrey and I tried to move some way in the caremat. The attempt was unsuccessful and as a result Tatiana Ivanovna’s caremat was gone with the wind. After that, having descended 400 meters more I take off the crampons, plastic shoes and put on light tracking shoes. The rest of my way I made in them and it was a great relief.

By the evening all the referees and I had come to Azau Valley.

I appreciate the help of a Polish mountaineer Petya and Vitali Balukin’s ability to negotiate.

In conclusion I could say the following. In my opinion, this year’s competitions were less spoken about but at the same time more domestic. I express my gratitude to everybody. To the facilitators and personally to Nikolay Borisovich Shustrov, the owners of the hotel Elba, Mukhud, Vilena, Zhora and Sergey from Bochki as well as to everyone who stayed with us throughout the whole event. I hope to meet them next year.


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Partcipants

 

Программа

Тел для связи с организаторами +7-812-740 12 10 Николай Шустров, Юлия Чуносова.

Проживание: гост. Эльба (пос Байдаевка, чуть выше Долины Нарзанов, не доезжая Иткола, 100-й км Баксанского шоссе). Судьи приезжают 7 сен . С 9 сен – они на Бочках.

 

Дата

Программа дня
8 сен Подготовка стартового городка на Азау, и все оргвопросы по подготовке трассы, регламенту соревнований, перемещениям участников, проживанию и торжественным мероприятиям
9 сен
11-00 Брифинг (поляна Азау, у начала канатки. Если погода хорошая – на улице, если плохая – в кафе) Регистрация участников, заполнение информационных карточек. 12-00 судьи поднимаются на Бочки. Подготовка стартового городка на Бочках.

10 сен

Квалификационный забег (Бочки – скалы Пастухова), старт в 11-00

11 сен

День отдыха. Гиды, обеспечивающие верхнюю часть трассы, выходят на ночевку на седловину.
12 сен


Для участников, стартующих в классе «Экстрим», трансфер от места проживания до места старта к 5-30. Старт в 6-00
Старт участников класса «Классика» от Бочек в 7-00.

13 сен


12-00 поляна Азау. Награждение. Торжественный обед..(время и место обеда будет уточняться) Возможно, если соревнование не затянется, эти мероприятия будут перенесены на день — вечер 14 сен (очень маловероятно…).

13 сен

Резервный день на случай плохой погоды.

Для спортсменов, стартующих в классе «Экстрим», квалификационный забег не обязателен (по положению в этот класс допускаются спортсмены уже имеющие опыт высотных скоростных восхождений).

Примечание: в зависимости от прогноза, организаторы могут поменять день и время основного старта в пределах дней 11-13 сен.


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Program for participants

days

dates

week day

program

accommodation

meals

1

07.09.07

Fri

Flight arrival to Min Vody. Transfer to Baksan Valley, Azau station. Accommodation in the Hotel Elba

Hotel Elba

2

08.09.07

Sa

Acclimatization program.

Hotel Elba

3

09.09.07

Sun

Acclimatization program.

Barrels

LD

4

10.09.07

Mon

Qualifying speed climb from Barrels hut to the Pastukhov rocks, 4800 m. Barrels

Barrels

BLD

5

11.09.07

Tue

Relaxing program. Barrels

Barrels

BLD

6

12.09.07

We

Speed Climb Mt Elbrus West 5642 m. Depart from Garabashi, Barrels hut, 3780m. Descent to Baksan Valley, Hotel Elba

Hotel Elba

B

7

13.09.07

Thu

Spare day.

Hotel Elba

8

14.09.07

Fri

Transfer to airport. Flight from Min Vody.

 

B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner

Price in Euro per person for the trip:

1 person 390 Euros
2-4 pers 290 Euros

The price includes:

  • Transfers airport-hotel and hotel-airport;
  • Transfers hotel Elba – Azau 09.09 and Azau-hotel Elba 12.09
  • Accommodation in the hotel Elba in Baidaevo without meals (Breakfast+Dinner : ~250 rubles/person/day=8 Euros)
  • Accommodation in Barrels refuge with a meals according to the program
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Cook for Barrels
  • Necessary formality (invitation letter, passport registration)

The price doesn’t include:

  • Flight to and back Mineralnie Vodi
  • unexpected preliminary evacuation cost
  • Ski passes
  • an insurance
  • personal expenses, alcohol
  • cost of visa
  • Registraion Fee ( 30 Euro = 1000 rub)

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