Bolzano/Corvara 16 March 2017 – Ten days ago the ice climbing season 2016/17 in Corvara ended with a fabulous party. The President of the Association, Reinhard Graf, is happy.
The period during which ice climbing in the valley is possible in South Tyrol is naturally brief. “If you operate one of the most modern and demanding artificial ice climbing facilities in the world you know in advance that you have to use this brief time frame as effectively as possible. It means an intense few weeks and months”, explained Reinhard Graf. It is therefore not surprising that between the end of December and the beginning of March the Association Verein Eisturm Rabenstein tries to entice as many ice climbers as possible to Val Passiria.
This was again the case in the winter of 2016/17: In the last three months the facility was open four times a week. Over 650 ice climbers from South Tyrol, the surrounding Italian regions and also from Austria, Germany and Switzerland made use of the offer. “The weather in January and February was ideal, no opening time had to be cancelled and the facility was open to ice climbing enthusiasts at all times”, continued Graf.
The team from Corvara are fantastic organizers
In the last few years the Verein Eisturm Rabenstein made its name as organisers of top quality sporting events. This includes the Psairer Bauernmeisterschaft championships that took place for the 12th time on 15 January. This duathlon comprising the disciplines of “Haiziechn”, hay pulling, and ice climbing, is hugely popular by the locals in Val Passiria. It is therefore not surprising that every year, despite the freezing cold, over 1000 spectators gather at the South Tyrolean ice climbing centre. This year the brothers Robert and Andreas Pfandler from Corvara triumphed. The previous twice winners Hans and Hubert Brunner came second, Matthias Flarer and Thomas Pfitscher were happy with their third place.
Since 2013 the highlight of the winter has always been the Ice Climbing World Cup. On the last weekend in January the best vertical athletes of the world travel to Corvara to fight it out for the stage victory in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup. This winter the Korean athletes cleaned up in the Lead category, as the triumphs by Hee Yong Park and Han Na Rai Song demonstrate so impressively. In the Speed category the Russian ice climbers are ahead: Pavel Batushev and Ekaterina Feoktistova joined the long list of Corvaran World Cup winners.
“It was, like every year, a very intense period of time. Because of the by now almost traditional foehn at the end of December we had to start icing up the ice tower from scratch, although the facility had been in tip top condition beforehand. But our team sticks together in difficult moments like this, rolls up its sleeves and gets stuck in. I would therefore like to thank my friends and colleagues in the Association very much for their tireless commitment. I would also like to thank our sponsors who support us so faithfully, and also the many visitors who come to Corvara winter after winter. We look forward to seeing you all again in the winter season 2017/18” concludes a satisfied Reinhard Graf.