From Domžale to Kirov. 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing calendar confirmed

Prepare your crampons, sharpen your ice axes and hone your figure 4s. The 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing calendar has now been finalized with competition commencing on 2 December in Domžale, Slovenia and closing three months later with the World Cup finale in Kirov, Russia. Ten different countries will host events with in excess of 400 ice climbers expected to take part in the season.

“The new season promises to be bigger than ever with a number of exciting competition formats and a chance for ice climbers to test themselves in a number of challenging international, continental and youth events,” explains Carlos Teixeira, President of the UIAA Ice Climbing Commission.

Rabenstein is always one of the most popular and challenging venues on the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. Photo: Patrick Schwienbacher/UIAA

The pinnacle events are the five World Cup competitions organized as part of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. The iconic dome of Saas Fee hosts the opening event before a leg in another popular European destination, Rabenstein. Back-to-back competitions in Asia will be held in Beijing, home to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games – an event the UIAA is targeting for ice climbing’s entry into the Olympic programme – and in Cheongsong, South Korea shortly before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games start in PyeongChang. Kirov will host the World Cup showdown where the identity of the male and female winner of the World Tour will be confirmed. The current champions are HeeYong Park and Hannarai Song of South Korea in lead; Vladimir Kartashev and Ekaterina Koshcheeva of Russia in speed.

The 2018 season, partnered by The North Face Korea, introduces the European Tour with three different events held before the end of January and a final one at the end of February. Non-European athletes are eligible for these competitions which also provide an opportunity for those new to the sport and U16s. The third event of the season in Champagny/Pays des Ecrins will play host to an international combined test event where a new combined lead and speed format will be introduced. Meanwhile, youth athletes will take centrestage in Malbun, Liechtenstein during the annual World Youth Championships.

Current World Cup and World Champion in lead, Hee Yong Park of South Korea. Photo: Patrick Schwienbacher/UIAA

An Athlete’s Guide will be available shortly together with the 2018 Rules and Regulations. Details on livestreaming, how to follow the events, and the UIAA’s production plan will be confirmed in due course.

The full calendar:

2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Saas Fee (Switzerland) – 18-20 January, 2018
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Rabenstein (Italy) – 25-27 January, 2018
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Beijing (China) – 2-4 February, 2018 Dates tbc in coming days
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Cheongsong (South Korea) –  9-11 February, 2018
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Kirov (Russia) –  2-4 March, 2018

Coralie Jary (France), in action during the lead competition in Cheongsong in 2017. Photo: UIAA/Rhea Kang (KAF)

UIAA Continental Championships
Asian Championships, Cheongsong (South Korea) – 9-11 February, 2018**
European Championships, Kirov (Russia) – 2-4 March, 2018**
**Part of World Tour event

2018 XXIII Olympic Winter Games
PyeongChang (South Korea) – 9-25 February*
*Ice climbing involvement TBC

UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships
Malbun (Liechtenstein), 5-7 January

European Tour
European Cup Lead Domžale (Slovenia) – 2 December, 2017
European Cup Bratislava (Slovakia) – 9 December, 2017
**European Cup Champagny/Pays des Ecrins (France) – 11-13 January, 2018
**Please note this event comprises the International Combined Test Event
European Cup Oulu (Finland) – 24-25 February, 2018

To discover more about the UIAA and Ice Climbing please visit:
http://theuiaa.org/ice-climbing

Main Image: Cheongsong. Photo: UIAA/Rhea Kang (KAF)