Russia reports success for extreme sports event on Mount Elbrus


The event, which included a high-speed run to the top of Europe’s highest peak, the 5,642m Mount Elbrus, a snowshoe race and ski-mountaineering competitions (vertical race and rally), took place from May 15-18.

Red Fox Asia team members Andrey Puchinin (Kazakhstan), Sergey Seliverstov (Kyrgyzstan) and Semen Dvornichenko (Kyrgyzstan) took the three top spots in the men’s snowshoe event. The surprise in this race was Russian Roman Gubanov who had the bad luck of breaking his bindings and having to complete the final section carrying the snowshoes in his arms.

The two fastest athletes in the ski-mountaineering vertical race, Kazakov Maksim and Sofin Rinat, were penalised for losing part of their equipment and had to relinquish top spot to Moscow’s Kurchakov Vyacheslav who had the third best time.

The Russian Mountaineering Federation, which co-hosted the event along with the Red Fox company, said participants had to overcome difficult conditions with temperatures of -20°C.

The high-speed run to the Elbrus Peak – the main event – was a race where any form of transport, assistance or skis is not permitted. The winner, Semen Dvornichenko (2hrs58mins), was only 1.5 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Roman Gubanov.

Ekaterina Andreeva of Kyrgyzstan (3hrs33mins) won the women’s competition. The surprise winner of the women’s snowshoe competition, Maria Popova – also of Kyrgyzstan – came second, with third going to Nadezhda Shubina. 

The extreme sports festival concluded with a ski-mountaineering rally. The prestigious race was part of the Russian Ski-Mountaineering Cup. Winner Sofin Rinat crossed the finish line only five seconds ahead of Roman Gubanov. Maksim Kazakov came third.

The main festival judge was the legendary Soviet athlete and president of the Kazakhstan Republic Mountaineering Federation, Ervand Ilinsky.

An awards ceremony was held on the Glade Azau near the base of Elbrus. Roman Gubanov received special mention for participating in three separate festival competitions.

The event also brought together representatives from the local municipal administration and the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Russian mountaineering veterans, famous athletes and media representatives.