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Exchanging climbing traditions at “Dolomites Women” Festival
02 Jun 2009
Women climbers from Russia and Europe came together between June 11 and 25 to exchange experiences in the Italian Alps for the Open Women’s Mountaineering Festival.
Organised by the Demchenko Central Mountaineering Sports Club, Russia and the DAV Club Russland, Germany, the event took place in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo area of the Dolomites.
The organisers wish to promote a European east-west exchange - both climbing and cultural. It also gave participants the chance to improve their skills. The venue is the well known Tre Cime di Lavaredo region of the Italian Alps - a popular area for alpine rock climbers, including women.
Showcased were climbing traditions from participating countries and there was a focus on national cultures and traditions. Teams were given the opportunity to make a presentation on their homeland and were asked to wear national costumes and share their national food, songs or customs.
Historically, women have faced no difficulties while climbing in the Alps. This is a great contrast to their counterparts in Russia, where, for many years, all-women climbing teams were banned. This did not change until the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the restrictions were finally abolished. Female climbers in Russia, however, still have obstacles to overcome as they struggle for independence from their male counterparts.
The event was divided into different parts. Clinics were held to allow climbers to advance their skills by teaching various aspects of different national styles. “The School” is a competition that was held on alpine techniques and speed climbing. This is based on Russian national championships and tested the athletes on short three to four pitch routes. Judges took into account speed, rope work and style.
The second part of the event allowed participants to tackle routes in the area, with their own group, or to join up with other climbers attending the festival.
More details of the event can be found in the regulations document.