As temperatures drop across Europe, competition in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour continues to intensify. This weekend, sandwiched between European events in Saas-Fee and Champagny-en-Vanoise, Rabenstein is the setting for round 4 of the six-event World Cup season. Partnered by Outdoor Research, the verdicts in this year’s World Tour are set to go down to the wire.
The event in Rabenstein, whose impressive ice tower is located in the Italian part of Südtirol, takes place from 2-3 February, with the speed competition taking centrestage on Saturday followed by lead on Sunday. The full programme can be downloaded here. YouTube embed codes for the livestream are available at the foot of this release. The livestream can also be followed on the UIAA Facebook Channel as well as on EXTREME and The Olympic Channel.
Men’s Lead: Yannick Glatthard (a dedicated profile video can be viewed below) made a conquering return to action last weekend taking gold in his home event in Saas-Fee. Can he follow up with another success? The previous two World Cups were claimed by Nikolai Kuzovlev who leads the overall rankings from South Koreans Lee Younggeon and Heeyong Park, defending world champion. France’s Nathan Clair, in fourth, continues to impress and will be staking a claim to podium for a second-time this season. Overall rankings
Women’s Lead: An ill-timed slip from Maria Tolokonina cost the World Tour leader a chance of a podium place last weekend. She heads the standings ahead of South Koreans Woonseon Shin, gold medal winner last weekend, and Hannarai Song (fourth). Ireland’s Eimir McSwiggan failed to make the Finals in Saas-Fee but sits in third having performed excellently in the Asian events. Finland’s Enni Bertling, fifth, continues to impress (in the video below she looks back on her first UIAA Ice Climbing medal for Finland). Young Swiss athlete Sina Goetz claimed silver last weekend and will also be in contention for a medal. Overall rankings
Men’s Speed: Anton Nemov and Vladislav Iurlov have claimed the three gold medals to date and have stolen a march on the opposition. Kuzovlev, leader in lead, sits in third which demonstrates his outstanding versatility. World Champion Vladimir Kartashev, second in Beijing, will seek to end his run without a gold medal which stretches back to Saas-Fee in 2017. The best performing non-Russian athlete is Iran’s Mohsen Rad Beheshti, sixth. Overall rankings
Women’s Speed: World Champion Ekaterina Koshcheeva leads the way having never finished lower than second. Tolokonina is her nearest rival, and still in contention to win both the lead and speed competitions. Natalia Savitskaia and Maryam Filippova are in close pursuit with the USA’s Kendra Stritch enjoying an excellent season, currently in fifth. Overall rankings
Livestream Direct Links & Embed Codes:
Main photo: UIAA/Patrick Schwienbacher