Ski Monsters on Mount Elbrus
Author : Rob Howard
PhotoCredit : Roman Barabonov
Date Posted : 2018/05/02
The Red Fox Elbrus Race is celebrating its 10th year in 2018, and started today with the Elbrus Ski Monsters Expedition Race, the first of 5 varied races on Europe’s highest peak.
This extreme sports festival has taken place between the Russian holidays of Labour Day (May 1st) and Victory Day (May 9th) for the past decade and includes the unusual winter disciplines of snow-shoe racing and ski mountaineering, along with a speed race and more recently the inclusion of a Vertical kilometre and a Skyrace.
All of this takes place on the slopes of the mighty Mount Elbrus (5642m), with the risk of extreme weather and the guarantee of high altitude and adrenaline. The festival now attracts more than 400 competitors from over 20 countries, both amateur and professional and is an important date in the Russian outdoor calendar.
For this anniversary event the first race of the festival was the new Ski Monsters Expedition Race, which took the ski-mountaineers to the top of Elbrus for the first time ever. The race began at a height of 2350m, went to the summit, and finished at 3500m, covering a breathtaking 35km with a total ascent of 4500m on the slopes of the mountain.
The race started at the bottom of Elbrus cable car in Azau, then crossed over several glaciers and passed the "Maiden's Hair Waterfall", the observatory, and the former climbers' base "105th Piquet". More glacier crossings followed on the way to the West summit of Mt. Elbrus and the finish was at Mir Station. Along the way there were technical sections requiring rappelling techniques for descent and ascents on fixed ropes. That is some course!
Fortunately the weather was fine for the athletes today and pairs from Russia, Bulgaria, Andorra and Austria took part. The winning pair were Ruslan Kulmuhametov and Ivan Marchenkov (National Guard of Russia team) in an amazing time of 8 hours 19 minutes 23 seconds and they were 30 minutes ahead of the second placed team.
In the women’s competition team Dinafit from Austria won the gold medals while the second and third places were taken by the Russian teams. Veronika Mayerhofer and Johanna Erhart led the way finishing in a time of 10 hours 9 minutes 58 seconds.
The next race in the festival is the Vertical Kilometer (2450-3450m), from Azau Glade (2450m) to Mir Station (3450m), which takes place on May 5th. We’ll have news for you on SleepMonsters of how this next event takes place.
To find out more about the Red Fox Elbrus Race see http://www.elbrus.redfox.ru
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