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ICE Climbing Ecrins 2010

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January 8-10, 2010 – Freissinieres and Fournel, France

ICE 2010, twenty years already! Twenty years of the blue tinted paradise of Fournel’s icefalls, the beauty of the mountains and a long-term commitment to environmental conservation all blended together in harmony. This year, the ICE village, located in the open-air surrounds of the artificial icefall of Argentiere, will provide a central focus for the event, which, for the past 20 years has provided some of the biggest winter sports exposure and entertainment of the year. With a fresh start for ICE, the event will offer a wide range of activities including training workshops, ice-climbing initiations and expert level training. The event center will allow visitors to hear about the latest ice-climbing updates. They’ll have the chance to discover and test the newest equipment on offer from our sponsors, and to learn more about ecological preservation. Not forgetting the major celebration of Saturday evening; free and open to all, the entertainment promises to send sparks flying over the icefalls, lighting up the skies for spectators and competitors alike. A very happy anniversary to all you mountain lovers out there!

—Joël Giraud Vice-president of the PACA region and Deputy Mayor of Argentiere La Bessee

The territory of the Ecrins is known and recognized for its natural riches, both summer and winter. Each year, the icefalls, figuring amongst the major assets of our valleys, attract ice climbers from all over the world. Ice-climbing provides a complementary activity to all other major winter sports such as alpine and cross-country skiing , and all of which provide a precious contribution to our local tourist industry. Ice Climbing Ecrins is one of the local area’s key events, and one that allows us to bring new climbers to the valleys, allowing them to discover an ideal location for their activity. Freissinieres and Fournel are valleys of a unique nature, boasting an extensive variety of icefalls just waiting to be explored during the ICE event. So lets get together, from the 8th to the 10th of January, to discover the activity and celebrate the beauty of the Ecrins.

—Cyrille Drujon d’Astros Community President of the Ecrins

The Ice Climbing Ecrins event of the past 20 years has allowed the Ecrins to become a high profile location for extreme sports. Uniting ice-climbing amateurs from all over the world, ‘ICE’ held in the unforgettable valleys of Freissinieres and Fournel, is today a key event for the most passionate of ice-climbers. With the icy walls scaling upwards, each competitor must make his way, carefully employing his ice picks and crampons, placing them decisively into the immaculate ice formations. The intensity of such a challenge is what makes Ice Climbing Ecrins one of the key winter events of the area. Along with Jean-Michel Arnaud (first vicepresident of Youth and Sports) and vice-president Raymond Marigne, (General advisor of Argentiere La Bessee) the General Advisory Comity of the Hautes-Alpes is delighted to be named, for its 20th year running, the official sponsor for this extreme event, that which has surpassed the summits of the Alps to touch the hearts of ice-climbers all over the world.

—Jean-Yves Dusserre President of the General Advisory Comity of the Hautes-Alpes

Ice Climbing Ecrins 2009Uploaded by paysdesecrins. – Check out more sports and extreme sports videos.

2010 Event Schedule:

Friday the 8th of January

5 pm: Welcome and inscription for workshops 5 pm: Opening of the event centre 7.30 pm: Pre-reserved meal (see inscription form) 9 pm: Security and ice conditions breifing 9.15 pm: Conference ‘Nuptse’ held by Stephane Benoist/Patrice Glairon Rappaz 10.45 pm: Closure of the event centre

    Saturday the 9th January

    7 am: Shuttle bus departure for independent climbers 8 am: Shuttle bus departure for workshop participants 8.30 am – 4 pm: Workshops held in Fressinieres (inscription available in the ICE village) 3 pm – 5 pm: Big Air : Jam Session (in the ICE village) 6.30 pm: Security and ice conditions briefing 7 pm – 10 pm: Fly and Climb Night competition (Big Air and Drycontest) 8 / 9 pm: ICE’s outdoor meal (included in the inscription fee) 10 pm: Awards ceremony and raffle 10 pm: Concert

    Sunday the 10th of January

    7 am: Shuttle bus departure for independent climbers 8 am: Shuttle bus departure for workshop participants 8.30 am – 4 pm: Workshops in Fressinieres 5 pm: Closure of the event centre

    An ecological eventThis year, ICE is changing its formula but not its philosophy!… Those of the local mountain community, forever close to nature through their practical activities, should be the ones to set the example. Once again this year, the organizers of ICE will do their utmost to keep the ecological impact of the event to a minimum. So come and join us car-free and you’ll be looked after by a system of shuttle buses (train or lift-shares with Recycling our rubbish, biodegradable dishes and ecological advice from the Mountain Rider team (offi – cial sponsor of ICE) all contributes to what defines the concept of ‘ICE’.

    This year, a number of new additions to ICE Climbing Ecrins…

    The ICE village: This year we change location, setting up tents under the temporary icefall in Argentiere La Bessee. All meetings, entertainment and the concert will take place under the tents and the foot of the ice-fall. Food and drink will be available throughout the weekend in the main marquee tent (if you wish to join us for the Friday night meal, please sign up via the inscription form). Inscription for the event is obligatory for those who wish to join us for the Saturday evening meal. Parking will be available in front of the Quartz gymnasium, only 5 minutes walk from the village. All weekend, free initiation workshops will be held for ice-climbing and dry tooling on structures within the village (children from 12 years and upwards may participate).

    The Event centre: At the heart of the village, the event centre will be open throughout the weekend to inform you of upcoming events and to offer advice on different equipment brands. (with the possibility of testing equipment).

    The Drycontest: This year, a dry tooling competition will take place. Saturday from 8am to 3pm: The qualifying rounds will be held in a natural ice-fall location and open to all. There will be a number of routes available ranging in levels from M2 to M10, and heats to select the competitors for the final. 6pm: The final. The first 3 competitors to qualify will compete alongside some of the strongest ice-climbers out there (special guests for the event). The final will take place on our own structure in the ICE village. Inscription for the event is obligatory. Award ceremony and raffle (€ 1500 to be won).

    The Big Air: Organized in association with our sponsors RidAir (entertainment) and l’ESF (technical proficiency). The free-style ski event promises to light up the Saturday evening entertainment (the qualifying rounds will take place on Saturday afternoon). Invitation only. € 1500 to be won.

    The ‘Independent autonomy’ workshops: For those who are already familiar with the sport but want to develop their skills further: workshops will be held in Freissinieres and Fournel (advanced levels in ice-climbing and mixed climbing).

    The FFCAM training workshops: Join us to discover the sport or perfect your skills with our specialized workshops: Initiation and perfection of ice-climbing

    • Dry tooling

    • Preparation for an ice-climbing outing with rope and security techniques

    • Transceiver and rescue techniques

    Once within the ice village, the shuttle buses will bring you to the various locations. Inscription obligatory.

    Other workshops:

    • ‘Breaking free of anchoring’ by Petzl

    • Mountain Riders

    • Transceiver rescue

    • Slack Line Inscription obligatory

    Access to the valleys: The valleys of Fournel and Freissinieres will be cleared of snow with shuttle buses in place to bring you into the heart of this ice-climbing paradise.

    The Mountaineering guides of the Ecrins’ Guides’ office will be present during the event to inform you of ice conditions and to help you prepare you daily routes (weather conditions permitting).

    To see photos from the 2009 Ecrins event click here.

    Visit: for more information and registration