Rain, hail and snow made for lively conditions this
weekend during the first UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup of the season—which doubled as the North American Championships—in Durango, Colorado.
The competition, held on a specially-made, outdoor wall at Ska Brewing Company, began with qualifiers on Thursday, December 15. Twenty seven male and 20
female competitors, from 13 countries, entered the lead competition, and the field narrowed to 18 climbers for Semi Finals on Friday.
“The semi-final route was incredibly hard, powerful and technical and I think a lot of people found that the same way,” Canadian competitor Noah Beek told
the UIAA. “A lot of the moves were very
big and to deal with that you had to get your feet uncomfortably high.”
Finals on Saturday—comprised of the top eight male and top eight female competitors from semi finals—brought even more surprises.
Route setters Pavel Dobrinskiy (RUS) and Kim Jong Heon (KOR) extended the competition wall with two hanging boxes, and created a meandering route to test
competitors’ technical climbing endurance, rather than pure power as did the semi finals route.
In finals, WoonSeon Shin, of South Korea, made quick work of the main wall and held her momentum into the hanging boxes. As Shin swung around the corner
of the first box and into a figure-9 position from a Stein pull, she was unable to free her other ice tool from behind the rope, and she let go of
the tool to adjust her position.
In a gripping moment, the tool, still caught on the rope, appeared as if it would slide off, but Shin grabbed it not a moment too late. She continued to
climb and reached the route’s finish hold, however, her score ended where she let go of her tool, since a dropped tool means the end of an attempt,
according to competition rules.
Nevertheless, Shin’s impressive performance into the hanging boxes was enough to earn her the gold medal, with 9.190 points, ahead of second place finisher
Angelika Rainer of Italy with 8.180 points, and Eimir McSwiggan of Ireland, in third, with 8.170 points.
On the men’s side, the Russian climbers Alexey Dengin, Nikolai Kuzovlev and Maxim Tomilov swept the podium in first, second and third, respectively. Dengin was the only competitor to top the finals route, and his performance earned him his first ever UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup medal.
In addition to the lead world cup competition, a separate speed competition (not part of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup circuit), took place as a preview
to next month’s competition in Beijing, China. For the women’s field, Maria Tolokonina of Russia took first place with a best time of 5.50 seconds,
followed by Nadezhda Gallyamova, also of Russia, in second with a time of 6.20 seconds, and Kendra Stritch of the United States in third with a time
of 6.67 seconds.
Kuzovlev, who took second place in the lead competition, made the podium in speed, this time in first place, with a best time of 4.05 seconds. Valentyn
Sypavin, from the Ukraine, followed with a time of 4.53 seconds, and Nikolay Shved of Russia took third with a time of 4.79 seconds.
The next UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup will take place from January 7 to 9 in Beijing, China.
Watch WoonSeon Shin's winning climb:
Watch Alexey Dengin's winning climb:
Results – Durango, Colorado UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup
Stay tuned for the official results from the North American Championships
1. WoonSeon Shin (KOR) – 9.190 points
2. Angelika Rainer (ITA) – 8.180 points
3. Eimir McSwiggan (IRL) – 8.170 points
4. Nadezhda Gallyamova (RUS) – 7.142 points
5. Maryam Filippova (RUS) – 7.131 points
6. Han Na Rai Song (KOR) – 4.100 points
7. Mariia Edler (RUS) – 4.080 points
8. Maria Tolokonina (RUS) – 2.040 points
1. Alexey Dengin (RUS) – TOP
2. Nikolai Kuzovlev (RUS) – 8.230 points
3. Maxim Tomilov (RUS) – 8.222 points
4. Valentin Sypavin (UKR) – 8.221 points
5. Alexey Tomilov (RUS) – 8.220 points
6. HeeYong Park (KOR) – 6.190 points
7. Noah Beek (CAN) – 6.181 points
8. Janez Svoljsak (SLO) – 5.130 points
SPEED FINALS (times = best result)*
1. Maria Tolokonina (RUS) – 5.50 seconds
2. Nadezhda Gallyamova (RUS) – 6.20 seconds
3. Kendra Stritch (USA) – 6.67 seconds
4. Olga Kosek (POL) – 7.25 seconds
5. Enni Bertling (FIN) – 8.63 seconds
6. Katie Bono (USA) – 8.79 seconds
7. Angela Tomczik (USA) – 9.63 seconds
8. Rebecca Lewis (CAN) – 9.69 seconds
9. Nae Yagi (JPN) – 11.28 seconds
10. Beth Goralski (USA) – 16.41 seconds
1. Nikolai Kuzovlev (RUS) – 4.05 seconds
2. Valentyn Sypavin (UKR) – 4.53 seconds
3. Nikolay Shved (RUS) – 4.79 seconds
4. David Bouffard (CAN) – 5.32 seconds
5. Alexey Tomilov (RUS) – 5.41 seconds
6. Nathan Kutcher (CAN) – 6.06 seconds
7. Carter Stritch (USA) – 6.10 seconds
8. Masato Nakajima (JPN) – 6.18 seconds
9. Pauli Salminen (FIN) – 6.22 seconds
10. Liam Foster (USA) – 6.62 seconds
11. Kevin Lindlau (USA) – 6.93 seconds
12. Novikov Alexander (RUS) – 7.22 seconds
13. Gihado Kadota (JPN) – 8.09 seconds
14. Robert Cordery-Cotter (USA) – 10.28 seconds
Click here to view full results and rankings.
*The speed competition was separate from the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup lead competition.