he schedule for the 2012 Ice Climbing World Cup events has been announced. On January 14 and 15, the season will kick off for the second year in a row with Lead and Speed competitions in Cheongsong, Korea, hosted by the Korean Alpine Federation.
This event will also be the Open Asia Championship.
One week later (January 20, 21), the world’s elite ice climbers will head to Europe for Lead and Speed events in Saas Fee, Switzerland which will also be the Open European Championship in Lead.
The athletes will remain in the Alps and compete in the two World Cup disciplines at the beginning of February (February 4, 5) in Champagny en Vanoise, France.
Busteni, Romania is next up as host on February 10 and 11 before the circuit moves further east to Moscow on March 3 and 4. The final Lead and Speed competitions will be held in Kirov, Russia (March 9, 10). This will also be the Open European Championship in the Speed discipline.
The past 2011 season will be remembered for the entrance of Korea and its athletes on the world stage. Korea’s Hee Yong Park ended the reign of Markus Bendler by winning the overall Lead title, while Russian athletes continued their dominance in Speed (Pavel Batushev and Maria Tolokonina), and by also scoring victory in women’s Lead (Anna Gallyamova).
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.
Lead and Speed
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.