Ice World Cup 2008, Italy

First World Cup competition of the season starting in Valle di Daone, Italy.
A well organized competition with a lot of routine of ice competitions since year 2000.
71 competitors

1. Simon Anthamaten, CH 1. Petra Müller, CH
2. Markus Bendler, AUT 2. Jenny Lavarda, ITA
3. Andreas Steindl, CH 3. Maria Tolokonina, ITA

In Italy the interest in ice climbing is big. The final is watched by over 3500 spectators, says head of PR, Riccardo Milani. Two national TV stations are both doing a 20-30 minutes program from the event. Also some radio stations are reporting from the event.

Unfortunately a lot of the ice that was pasted on the structure fell down a week ago due to a week of warm temperatures. But unexpected changes in the weather don’t stop the Italians. They directly put up 40 meter of technical and overhanging drytooling routs of great quality to compensate for the loss of the ice. The remaining ice was too soft though to put the axes in, so it is funny when head referee, Andrej Pecjak, cracks a joke at the introduction about ice climbing competitions and not being allowed to touch the ice. At least not with the axes. Temperatures during the competitions weekend were ranging from -2 to +2 C.
The furthest travelling competitors were a whole team of climbers from South Korea. So at least this year there will not be just Europeans competing in the “World Cup”. Unfortunately no competitors from North America like in the early years of the IWC.

Just as many years before the winner of the speed competitions seem to be decided by luck. The route was 10 meter of soft snow, which made the axes rip without anything to bear the weight of the climber. The last 2 meters where a drytooling wall with two holds up to the finishing cow bell. Many top climbers did not finish and some even tried to use their hands in the soft snow, leaving their axes behind, with both successful and unsuccessful results.