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...

UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour stops in “cool” Saas Fee

  Each stage of the UIAA Ice climbing Tour has its own unique character and Saas Fee, one of Switzerland’s most famous ski resorts has "cool" written all over it. The Swiss village of 1,600 people which can handle as many as 7,600 people during peak season has become one of the liveliest and interesting stops on the tour. The unique competition wall in this idyllic car-free town (1,700 meters) which lies on the other side of Zermatt...

Safety Commission to meet in February over via ferrata issue

The UIAA Safety Commission will meet during ISPO Munich on 6 February 2013 to review and discuss a worldwide warning to users of via ferrata sets that was put out in September. The warning followed worldwide a fatal accident on 5 August 2012 on a via ferrata in the vicinity of Walchsee in Tirol, Austria where a climber fell several meters and both lanyards on the energy-absorbing devices (EAS), also known as klettersteig sets, broke. The manufacturer of the...

Winners of Korean stage of UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour

PRESS RELEASE  Winners of Korean stage of UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour   13 January 2013, CHEONGSONG, Korea: The first stage of the 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour concluded today before thousands of cheering spectators in Cheongsong, South Korea with winners and final results announced in the following categories: UIAA World Cup Full Results  Women's Lead  Men's Lead  1. Angelika Rainer (Italy)  1. Alexey Tomilov (Russia)  2. Anna Gallyamova (Russia)  2. Valentyn Sypavin (Ukraine)  3. Woon Seon Shin (Korea)  3. Hee Yong Park (Korea)  Women's Lead Full list  Men's...

Maxim Tomilov and Markus Bendler out of the finals for Lead in Korea

The first full day competition at the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour in Cheongsong, Korea saw a major upset when last year’s world champion Maxim Tomilov (Men’s Lead) fell early and unable to qualify for the finals on Sunday. Tomilov’s brother and climbing partner Alexey Tomilov, however, fared much better and led the group by day’s end. It was also another major disappointment for Austria’s Markus Bendler, who gave a sub-par performance in the qualifying round and...

80 years of UIAA, looking back and looking forward by Claude Eckhardt

Editor’s Note: We asked Claude Eckhardt, former General Secretary of the UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation to prepare an overview of highlights in the history of the UIAA since 1932. The views expressed are his alone. The creation and first decades Informal and friendly meetings between representatives of various countries took place with the creation of Alpine Clubs in the second half of the 19th century. But it was only in 1932 that the Club Alpin...