12th annual Ice Climbing Festival at Kandersteg another huge success, including Ines Papert winning the women's divison of the competition
The 12th Annual Ice Climbing Festival in Kandersteg took place last weekend in the ice climbing Mecca of the Bernese Oberland with climbers from all over the world and more than 600 spectators. Workshops, slideshows and the competition offered icey good times for all. For the second year in a row, the festival took place on the crags of the Kandersteg Rope Park, just across the street from the Gemmi Lodge.
Approximately 90 contestants, 21 of whom were women, competed in the dry-tooling contest on Saturday, and even though the temperatures were a bit warm, the enthusiasm remained high. The spectacular finalé under the lights on Saturday night was won by Patrik Aufdenblatten of Zermatt, who has been on the podium in this event numerous times. Nikolai Primerov from Russia finished 2nd and Geatan Ruyman took 3rd. Black Diamond athlete Ines Papert of Germany, who has many World Cup ice climbing wins under her belt, returned as the champ in Kandersteg, and last year’s winner, Petra Müller from Switzerland, took 2nd place. Black Diamond athlete Albert Leichtfried and Kurt Astner were responsible for the route-setting, and the entire event coordination crew was stoked to see the enormous growth in the number of young ice climbers involved.
The workshops took place on Sunday, with over 50 enthusiast participants learning tricks of the trade from ice pros such as Black Diamond athletes Samuel Anthamatten (CH), Neil Gresham (GB), Dodo Kopold (SK) and Ines Papert (DE), as well as Petra and Jack Müller (CH), Kurt Astner (IT), Klemen Premrl (SI) and Matthias Scherer (DE).
Two pair of climbing brothers offered the exciting slideshows on Friday and Saturday Night at the Congress Hall in Kandersteg, where about 300 spectators were entertained on each night. BD athletes and brothers Samuel and Simon Anthamatten, from Zermatt, Switzerland, thrilled the crowd with their show “Small Climbers—Big Mountains” on both evenings. And then fellow BD athlete Nicolas Favresse and his brother Olivier from Belgium rocked the house with mandolin, photos and film footage. Their show, “Big Wall Jammin’” had the entire crowd on their feet. And the legendary after-party at the Gemmi Lodge rounded out a perfect evening.
The Ice Climbing Festival in Kandersteg is the largest event of it’s kind in the Alps and is known as a meeting spot for international ice climbers and is renowned globally as a “must-attend” event in the ice climbing scene. The main sponsors were again Arc'teryx, Bächli Bergsport, Black Diamond and La Sportiva. And as local partners, the Hotel Gemmi Lodge, Gemmi Tavern, Kandersteg Tourism, Kandertal Tourism and the Town of Kandersteg were again supportive of the event in their own neighborhood. Media partners were the climbing magazines Vertical and Klettern. Julbo, Sterling Rope and Petzl also contributed gear and support as event partners. Later this spring, Petzl will sponsor the Festival L’Ice Climbing Ecrins 2011 in France.
Final Results - Ice Climbing Festival Kandersteg 2011
[All photos were shot by Andrea Badrutt, from Chur (CH)]