Rivalries, records and retirement mark the 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World as it arrives in Kirov, Russia for grand finale

Athletes have arrived in Kirov, Russia, for the grand finale of the 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. Opening cermonies begin on 8 March at 1330h followed by the start of Lead qualification for women and Lead qualification for men if time perimts. There will be live-streaming of the event with coverage ending at 2000h. Some memorable moments from this year's tour which began in Cheongsong, Korea in January which has been marked by rivalries,records and retirement include: ...

Second wave of via ferrata set recalls within six months

Second wave of via ferrata set recalls within six months 25 Feb, 2013 Editor's Note:  This release contains an updated table of affected via ferrata sets dated 17 April 2013. Press Release Second wave of via ferrata set recalls within six months Considerable deficiencies found in many via ferrata sets 25 February 2013, BERN, Switzerland: A group of manufacturers has issued a recall of certain via ferrata sets following a meeting of the UIAA (International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) Safety Commission in Munich, Germany. Following a...

New Training Standards program ready for evaluation

An innovative multi-year UIAA Training Standards program conducted in cooperation with the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) is in the final stages of evaluation and will provide a template for a much sought-after service from federation members. The Nepal program, supported by a charity called the Petzl Foundation, is for a trekking leader training scheme with "train the trainer” courses to be administered by the NMA. Steve Long of the UIAA Training Standards Panel said the model can...

Pavel Batushev sets a Speed record in Busteni, Romania

A Speed record by Russia’s Pavel Batushev was the big story out of the 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour stop in Busteni, Romania. Batushev’s blistering run up the 15 metre wall obliterated the previous record of 8.74 seconds held by his colleague Pavel Gulyaev. Other highlights from the competition held under wintery and snowy conditions included the a powerful finish by the always colourful HeeYong Park of Korea who came first in Men’s Lead and a...

Injeong Lee elected to third term as president of the Korean Alpine Federation

Injeong Lee, the 19th president of the Korean Alpine Federation, has been re-elected to a third term during the association’s 2013 General Assembly. Lee started his career as a vice president of Korean Alpine Federation in 1998. In 2005 and 2009 he was chosen to be the 17th and 18th president of Korean Alpine Federation. The president's term lasts 4 years. Lee is member of a mountaineering club at Dongguk University and has a doctorate in business administration....

Markus Bendler retires after Rabenstein and other highlights of the 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour

Rabenstein, the newest venue on the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour provided plenty of drama and memories for athletes and spectators. It was the setting for the final climb of Markus Bendler of Austria, a perennial crowd favourite and former Lead champion who gave it his all to reach the final hold, but fell. It was where the normally cool and unflappable Angelika Rainer of Italy finally broke down in tears after winning the Lead in front...

Winter ascent on Broad Peak by Polish expedition

An attempt to make the first successful winter ascent of Broad Peak (8047 metres) led by well-known Polish climber Krzysztof Wielicki and organized by the Polish Mountaineering Association (PZA) is underway. The expedition by the UIAA federation member is part of a series of Polish winter mountaineering expeditions called Polish Winter Himalayan Mountaineering 2010 – 2015 under the patronage of Mr. Bronislaw Komorowski, president of Poland. According to details put out by the expedition, the team will use classic...

The Brothers Tomilov and the sport they love

Alexey and Maxim Tomilov fell in love with the sport they dominate by chance. Back in 1998, the two avid competitive indoor climbers watched the first Russian ice climbing championships in Kirov, their hometown, as spectators and were intrigued by what they saw. “We realized we wanted to do it,” says Alexey, 29, the shorter but older brother of Maxim who is 27-years-old. Since that fateful moment, the two brothers who work as construction workers on high-rise buildings...

Maria Tolokonina wins Women’s Lead Final in Saas Fee after battling Angelika Rainer

This time they were tears of joy for Maria Tolokonina. After a less than stellar performance in the qualifying round that left her frustrated and a semi-final climb that placed her in the lead, Tolokonina won the Women's Lead final in dramatic fashion in literally the final seconds. Tolokonina and Rainer both reached the final ice barrel and hold. But Tolokonina had a dramatic last second fall to tie Rainer in points. Her better semi-final performance, however, meant...

Maxim Tomilov emerges as Saas Fee champion again

Maxim Tomilov ran into trouble at the fifth barrel like so many climbers before him but sheer strength and experience won the day. He was tantalizingly close to the final barrel which had eluded every climber in the Men’s Lead final. With just seconds left, Tomilov urged on by the crowd, lunged with his right axe but fell and the crowd fell with him. Tomilov, however, still emerged as champion in Saas Fee for the second year in...