The first event in the 2020-2021 UIAA Ice Climbing season, partnered by Outdoor Research, was held on 5 December. Twenty-three athletes contested a European Cup in Žilina, Slovakia.

The event was organised in conjunction with UIAA member association, Slovak Mountaineering Union (James) – Slovensky Horolezecky Spolok (James).

Švingál and Kosek take gold medals

A total of 16 men and seven women took part in the event. The participation was international, competitors from Slovakia competed against athletes from the Czech Republic and Poland. The organisers prepared four qualifying routes for men and women. Eight athletes contested both the men and women’s finals. The final route was common to both categories, with the females having only one extra hold. The route was of extreme endurance difficulty (around a D10).

In the men’s competition Jano Korenko produced a solid performance in claiming a bronze medal and only a broken hold stopped him. Peter Kuric climbed better, but ended up two holds from the top and fell with his hands fully extended. The incredible Juraj Švingál achieved victory with an excellent performance after a one-year break from competition.

The women’s competition was equally close. Majka Šoltésová took bronze, Aneta Loužecka finished two catches under the top and out of time to claim silver. Olga Kosek from Poland climbed for her victory with a flawless and beautiful performance. Her significant experience from the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cups made a big difference.

Report by: Marek Radovský
Photos: Jozef Ketyi. A full photo gallery can be found on Flickr.

For full details on the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour please click here.

For all results from Žilina click here.