Bolzano/Corvara, 19 January 2017 – January is the most intense month not only for Alpine ski racers, when Dominik Paris, Marcel Hirscher, Lindsey Vonn etc. move from one classic event to the next. It’s all systems go for ice climbers, too! In just over a week, from 27 to 29 January, the World Cup circuit moves to Corvara in Val Passiria. For the 5th time this most important event in ice climbing comes to the ice tower Eisturm Rabenstein.
There is one major difference between Alpine ski racers and ice climbers: While the top skiers only move around in the Alpine region, ice climbers travel on two continents. At the beginning of January the best ice acrobats in the world battled it out in Beijing in China, last weekend they competed in South Korean Cheongsong, and this week the World Cup continues in Saas Fee in Switzerland. After that it’s on to Corvara where the 5th World Cup event of the winter takes place from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 January. It is also the dress rehearsal for the Ice Climbing Word Championships that will take place in February in France.
The ice climbing tower in Corvara is an impressive 15 metres high and 30 metres broad steel structure covered by a one metre thick layer of ice. Crossways and overhangs with a steep gradient make the already tricky challenge almost impossible to complete. Almost. Because only the top athletes from all over the world are represented at the World Cup, and they are capable of succeeding on these tricky routes in South Tyrolean ice.
The whole ice climbing elite will be at the start
100 ice climbers from 20 countries and three continents have already registered for this top sporting event, including local athlete and three times World Champion Angelika Rainer from Merano. The Tomilov brothers Maxim and Alexey from Russia, the Korean World Cup leader Hee Yong Park and his female compatriots Han Na Rai Song and WoonSeon Shin, Petra Klinger from Switzerland – the world’s ice climbing elite will be at the start in Corvara.
Regarding the preparations, Chair of the Organising Committee Reinhard Graf and his team are well ahead: “Rarely have the conditions at the ice tower in Corvara been as ideal as this year. The icy cold conditions coming from the polar region in the last few days were ideal for us. But it’s not only the facility itself that is in top condition. All other preparations are also running like clockwork. We’re ready to roll and start the ice climbing festival in just over a week’s time.”
The official opening of the Ice Climbing World Cup will take place on Piazza Terme in Merano on Friday, 27 January at 5:00 pm. Saturday (28 January) starts with the qualification for the Lead discipline (from 9:15 am). In the afternoon from 6:30 pm we will see the first results in the Speed category. The comprehensive competition programme will continue on Sunday morning with the Lead semi-finals (from 8:15 am). The final starts at 1:00 pm.