12/14/14 - Kendra Stritch took gold at the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup, winning the speed event at the Bozeman Ice Festival on Friday. In the difficulty comp, two Canadians—Gord McArthur and Sarah Hueniken—made finals and earned the title of North American champions.
The Ice Climbing World Cup, the first held in North Americas since the UIAA began organizing the circuit, took place on towering freestanding walls in downtown Bozeman, Montana, that were ice-free amid temperatures that neared 60°F on Friday. In the head-to-head speed events, Stritch outran Swiss and Russian rivals to win gold. U.S. women Katie Bono and Beth Goralski made it to the quarterfinal round in speed.
A snowstorm on Saturday brought the proper atmosphere to the comp, but still no ice on the main lead wall, which topped out over a dangling box nicknamed the Montana Cow Bell. Only two North Americans survived the semifinal round, with both McArthur and Hueniken squeaking into the finals in the last position. On Saturday night, before a large boisterous crowd, McArthur earned his best-ever finish in a World Cup, finishing in fourth place. Russian and Korean climbers, who dominate international ice climbing comps, filled the podium in Bozeman, with Maxim Tomilov and Liudmila Badalyan, both from Russia, taking the men’s and women’s gold medals. Another notable finalist: Russian Sergey Tarasov, who finished third at age 48, the oldest person in the comp.
Bozeman UIAA Ice World Cup Difficulty Results(Including North American Finalists and Semifinalists)
Women 1. Liudmila Badalyan (RUS) 2. Shin Woon-seon (KOR) 3. Nadezhda Gallyamova (RUS)8. Sarah Hueniken (CAN) 9. Jen Olson (CAN) 11. Katie Bono (USA) 12. Kendra Stritch (USA) 13. Dawn Glanc (USA) 14. Crista-Lee Mitchell (CAN) 15. Rebecca Lewis (CAN) 16. Beth Goralski (USA) 17. Gretchen Simms (USA) 18. Mehrnoosh Mahallati (CAN)
Men 1. Maxim Tomilov (RUS) 2. Park Hee-yong (KOR) 3. Sergey Tarasov (RUS)4. Gord McArthur (CAN) 11. Nathan Kutcher (CAN) 13. Ryan Vachon (USA)
Full results: iceclimbingworldcup.org