World Cup Ice Climbing Crowns Old and New Champions


Austria's Markus Bendler and Russia’s Pavel Gulyaev have defended their Ice Climbing titles in the Lead and Speed disciplines respectively. This year’s women’s Lead champion is Anna Gallyamova of Russia, and her compatriot, Nadezda Shubina was crowned Speed queen. Go here for full results.

The 2010 champions hoisted their titles after the last weekend of competitions in Busteni, Romania on February 6. Although there are only four events on the World Cup circuit, the competitions are demanding, held over four weekends in four different countries from early January to early February.

Gallyamova summed up the Ice Climbing World Cup 2010 in two words: “Most impressive”.

Lead and SpeedUIAA recognizes Ice Climbing as a competitive sport and is responsible for organization and promotion of the Ice Climbing World Cup and International Championships. There are two Ice Climbing disciplines, Speed and Lead. In Speed, athletes race up an ice face for the best time. In Lead competitions the climbers' ability to master a difficult route in a given time is tested.

RedFox and ZamberlanPresenting Sponsors of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup 2010 are Russian mountaineering clothing and equipment company RedFox and Italian footwear maker Zamberlan. Read more.

Sochi, RussiaIn its commitment to developing the sport, the UIAA plans to expand the circuit with the intention of showcasing Ice Climbing competitions in Sochi, Russia at the same time as the 2014 Winter Olympics. Discussions with the Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee have indicated that Ice Climbing competitions could be welcome as part of the "Live Events" being planned for the general public.

Global reachThe UIAA, with 80 member organizations in 57 countries, represents more than 1 million people worldwide. It's the International Olympic Committee's recognized international federation for mountaineering and natural surface climbing.

Competitor quotes:

“My dream is to climb perfectly with ice axes,” said Markus Bendler, the undisputed men’s champion in Lead. The Austrian athlete has now won the title two years in a row.

“I used to be focused on beating the others, and now the focus is on doing a good job, and that is not just winning.”

Bendler thought the competition in Saas Fee, Switzerland was the most challenging, and loved the atmosphere at the venue - a multi-storey car park. “It is like a stadium with everyone cheering and shouting loudly.”

Korea’s Hee Yong Park, who finished 2nd overall in men’s Lead agreed that it was the cheering crowds in Saas Fee that he will fondly remember.

Russia’s Anna Gallyamova, who captured the 2010 women’s Lead title, was particularly impressed with the ice structure of the competition in Val Daone, Italy. Her countryman, Pavel Gulyaev, who defended his Speed title, thought the hardest event was the season opener in Kirov, Russia.

“All of the events are very different,” said France’s Stephanie Maureau who was 3rd overall in women’s Lead. “I love the structure here,” she said of the climbing wall in Busteni, Romania. “The roof is really difficult. We will need to be stronger next year,” she said.

“The structure in Busteni is almost perfect,” agreed Bendler, adding that he hopes the organizers of the different events continue to challenge the athletes by redesigning the climbing walls. “I hope every event moves a bit forward,” he said.

For more visit:

Click here to see a photo gallery from the event by Lukasz Warzecha