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Will Gadd Edged Out at Bozeman UIAA Mixed Comp

Will Gadd Nearly Wins Again at the UIAA Sanctioned Mixed Competition Held in Bozeman, Montana, But Gets Edged Out By Slovenian Janez SvoljAak.

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winner Photo by Jason ThompsonAfter defending champion Will Gadd floated the route at the U.I.A.A. North American Championships, held in Bozeman, Montana, on December 14, it seemed the night was over.

Then 20-year-old Slovenian Janez SvoljAak strolled it with two minutes to spare. His mom was watching.

Bozeman went wild, the nighttime crowd of more than 400 filling the lawn at the Emerson Cultural Center downtown. SvoljAak, who has been ice climbing for three years, said the level of competition was much higher than what he’d seen in European comps that year.

With this event—which took place day three of the 17th annual Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival—Bozeman cemented itself in the international ice climbing consciousness.

In addition to Slovenia, the comp this year drew 35 competitors from around North America, Europe and Korea, welcoming them with an American Indian drum circle and banner ice conditions in Hyalite Canyon.

Gadd took second and Will Mayo third, while in the women’s field, Italian Angelika Rainer was crowned North American champion, Stephanie Maureau of France second, and third was Canadian Sarah Hueniken.

Angelika Rainer figure-fours to a first place finish. Photo by Jason ThompsonThis was the second year the festival played host to the drytooling competition at the Emerson, 15 miles from Hyalite Canyon where the festival’s four days of clinics take place. The only U.I.A.A. sanctioned event in North America this year, the competition helps strengthen the bid for the Olympics the organization plans to submit in 2014, said festival director Joe Josephson.

Course setter Pavel Dobrinskiy came from Russia for the comp and is one of the best in the world, said competition director Conrad Anker.

“Pavel [brought] a higher grade of competitors, and outside motivation and ideas,” Anker said. “The whole ice fest is about exchanging ideas with fellow climbers.”

The U.I.A.A. also lacks a World Cup venue in North America, something Bozeman would like to take on, Anker said—but needs funding to the tune of $100,000. Ultimately, he’d like to see two North American World Cup stops—one in the U.S. and one in Canada.

“[This year is] a good test for us,” Anker said. “It shows we can put on a comp, that the market’s there, and there’s great support … I think we should get after it.”


Place Bib number First name Last Name Country
1 110 Janez SvoljĀÁak SLO
2 101 Will Gadd CAN
3 131 Will Mayo USA
4 105 Gord McArthur CAN
5 121 Samuel Elias USA
6 107 Aaron Montgomery USA
7 117 Nathan Kutcher CAN
8 130 Malcolm Kent GBR
9 115 Whit Magro USA
10 108 Ryan Vachon USA
11 106 Justin Willis USA
11 134 Kyle Vassilopoulos USA
13 132 Satoshi Shimizu JAP
14 123 Marc Beverly USA
15 104 Andres Marin COL
16 139 Markus Urbanowski GER
17 128 Damien Cote CAN
18 112 jason Nelson USA
19 127 Tomas Casey USA
20 102 Rafal Andronowski CAN
21 118 marcus Garcia USA
22 113 Justin Griffin USA
23 116 Jeff Thom CAN
24 126 Marco Servalli ITA


Place Bib number First name Last Name Country
1 125 Angelika Rainer ITA
2 111 Stephanie Maureau FRA
3 109 Sarah Hueniken CAN
4 140 Jen Olson CAN
5 141 Ines Papert GER
6 103 Katie Bono USA
7 133 Naoko Adachi JAP
8 119 Dawn Glanc USA
9 129 Nae Yagi JAP
10 122 Kendra Stritch USA
11 137 Andrea Charest USA
12 124 Erin Weber USA