Letter: A guide to events on Mount Elbrus

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Sir: It was somewhat unfair of the British Mountaineering council to use the ordeal suffered by the British climbers on Mount Elbrus as the basis for a general criticism of safety standards on Russian adventure holidays. I have recently participated in two adventure holidays in remote parts of Russia and I found that in both instances the guides were extremely safety conscious and made sure everyone was looked after, especially the weaker members of the party.

Every holiday of this sort contains some element of risk, especially those to remote and undeveloped areas. However it was my experience that the Russians did all they could to reduce any danger. They were all tough and experienced, as well as being delightfully friendly and very hardworking. One of our guides on the second trip I did was the same Anatole Yanochkin who was the guide to the climbers of Elbrus. I would not hesitate to go on a trip with him or any other Russian guide again.

Yours sincerely,