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Ice Climbing World Cup 2011 schedule now online
02 Aug 2010
The schedule for the 2011 Ice Climbing World Cup and World Championship events has been announced. The season will kick off on January 8 and 9 with Lead and Speed competitions in Cheongsong, Korea. It will be the first time the UIAA Ice Climbing circuit includes a stop in Asia. The Korean Alpine Federation (KAF) will host the events.
“Ice Climbing is like a national sport in Korea,” says Andrej Pecjak, a member of the UIAA Ice Climbing Commission. Pecjak says the Koreans are professional and enthusiastic ice climbers. “They have various man-made icefalls where people spend their free time by ice climbing. One can see numerous climbers of various ages from 16 to 80 years – both men and women. Competitions of various types are held all over Korea – more then one per weekend.”
Koreans in the Lead
Top Korean athletes to watch for are Shin Woon Seon and Hee Yong Park, who won the final Lead competitions of the 2010 season in the women's and men's events respectively.
After Korea, the World Cup heads to Europe and Italy’s Trentino valley, where the climbing elite will meet in Val Daone for the sixth year in a row from January 15-16.
A week later, Switzerland’s Saas Fee is the venue for another weekend of Lead and Speed. Ice Climbing has become a fixture on the Swiss alpine resort’s agenda. Athletes not only have to tackle the ice walls, but the fishbowl atmosphere of climbing in an indoor car park!
The first weekend of February sees the Ice Climbing community move camp to Busteni, Romania for a Speed competition and Lead World Championship. The two events are hosted by the Romanian Alpine Club.
Russian athletes, who dominate the world in Speed, will have the chance to show off their quick moves in front of a home crowd in Kirov. The Russian city will host a Lead event and Speed World Championship from March 6 -8.
Besides increasing the number of competitions, the UIAA is working toward showcasing Ice Climbing competitions in Sochi, Russia at the same time as the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Ultimately, the UIAA is working toward Ice Climbing’s inclusion in the Winter Olympics.
“The event in Asia will certainly boost Ice Climbing as a sport, especially in Japan and China, and will also give us more credibility to achieve our Olympics goal,” Pecjak adds.
The UIAA launched the Ice Climbing World Cup in 2000. In Speed, athletes race up an ice face for the best time. In Lead competitions the climbers' ability to master a difficult route in a given time is tested.
The UIAA is the International Olympic Committee’s recognised international federation for mountaineering and natural surface climbing.
With more than 70 member organisations in 56 countries, the UIAA represents more than 1 million mountaineers and climbers worldwide.