UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup 2006

Valle di Daone, Italy
January, 20-22

The official internet site - http://www.daoneicemaster.it.


photos: LGiulio Malfer

Speed: Nickolay Shved and Maria Shabalina win the first stage of the Ice World Cup 2006 followed by Eugeny Krivosheitsev and Natalia Kulikova.

Saturday's qualification were played out on a single route and the following qualified for the quater finals: the Russians Nikolay Shved, Alexander Matveev, Maxim Vlasov, Pavel Gulyaev, Alexey Vagin, Evgeny Kryvosheytsev from the Ukraine, Benjamin Falbesoner from Austria and Urs Odermatt from Swizerland. In the women's comeptition the following qualified: Anna Torretta and Barbara Zwerger from Italy, Ines Papert from Germany and the Russians Maria Shabalina, Nataliya Kulikova, Marina Rashitova, Mariam Filipova and Julia Oleynikova.

On Sunday's Quarter finals the athletes competed in a head-to-head on two parrallel identical routes, before inverting the two routes. The sum total of the two routes was the basis for qualification.
In the men's event Nikolay Shved eliminated Benjamin Falbesoner, Urs Odermatt ha beat Maxim Vlasov, Alexander Matveev got the better of Pavel Gulyaev and Evgeny Kryvosheytsev climbed faster than Alexey Vagin.
In the women's competition Nataliya Kulikova sped faster than Anna Torretta while Marina Rashitova eliminated Barbara Zwerger. Mariam Filipova topped out faster than Julia Oleynikova and Ines Papert found her match in the form of Maria Shabalina.

The great speed specialists Nikolay Shved and Evgeny Kryvosheytsev qualified for the final beating Urs Odermatt and Alexander Matveev respectively. Nataliya Kulikova and Maria Shabalina won their duels relegating Marina Rashitova and Mariam Filipova.

In the Final Nikolay Shved cwith a total time of 32.70 seconds beat the World Champion Evgeny Kryvosheytsev, who finished 36.29. The "small final" for third and fourth place was won by Alexander Matveev, who beat Urs Odermatt.
The women's all-Russian final was won by Maria Shabalina with a record time of 1 minute and 20.59 seconds, ahead of Nataliya Kulikova (1'22.26). Marina Rashitova placed third by beating Mariam Filipova.

1. Shved Nikolay (Rus)
2. Evgeny Kryvosheytsev (Ukr)
3. Alexander Matveev (Rus)
4. Urs Odermatt (Sui)
5. Maxim Vlasov (Rus)
6. Pavel Gulyaev (Rus)
7. Alexey Vagin (Rus)
8. Benjamin Falbesoner (Aut).

1. Maria Shabalina (Rus)
2. Nataliya Kulikova (Rus)
3. Marina Rashitova (Rus)
4. Mariam Filipova (Rus)
5. Ines Papert (Ger)
6. Julia Oleynikova (Rus)
7. Anna Torretta (Ita)
8. Barbara Zwerger (Ita)

Difficulty: Ines Papert, Harry Berger and Samuel Anthamatten win the first stage of the Ice World Cup 2006 held last weekend in Valle di Daone, Italy. Ines Papert from Germany wins the first stage of the Ice Climbing World Cup in Daone ahead of Anna Torretta from Italy and Stephanie Maureau from France. Harry Berger from Austria and Samuel
Anthamatten from Switzerland tie for first place in the men's competition, Herbert Klammer from Italy placet third.

Things were going to be extremely tough today, and the first women's route made this all to clear. 12 finalists, 4 had to bid their farewell - this was the law of the KO final! And the battle started right from the outset., from those very first meters that lead to the stalactite. Many had their fare share of difficulties getting passed this first crux, from Buchmann to Torretta, from Papert to Maureau. Then there was the dry tooling section followed by a hint of ice which led to the long traverse left onto the hanging drips and the top, The tension was palpable. And the sub-zero temperature madet hings even harder.

As a result Barbara Zwerger, the first of three Italians, was forced to re-start three times before finally making a nice run third time round+ Fiona Murray lost all hope immediatly after the first stalactite, Mariam Filipova dropped her ice axe, Kirsten Buchmann climbed high and started the move across onto the hanging drips. The Russians Maria Shabalina and Marina Rashitova lost their ticket to success battling
it out on the dry tooling section. But Stèphanie Maureau from France, after an incredible arm twist on the first drip, accelerated and, after a determined fight, managed to bring herself into a safe zone for the next round.

Nataliya Kulikova, the small, tenacious Russian, managed a similar feat, only just. While Jenny Lavarda started well but touched out of bounds and was stopped by the judges - a shame, because she'd climbed past all
the hard sections. Anna Torretta, as mentioned previously, ran into trouble on the first
stalactite but soon saw the light and, after this "false start", climbed quickly, risking moves without making mistakes - her fantastic race ended on the penultimate drip and in safe qualification for the next round. Only Petra Muller from Switzerland climbed better, as did the usual, unshakable and highly capable Ines Papert. This meant that Fiona Murray, Maria Shabalina, Jenny Lavarda and Barbara Zwerger failed to qualify for the next round - Zwerger in particular was unfortunate as she finished joint-equal with Kulikova but was excluded due to her inferior Open results. These are the rules
and they state clearly that if athletes place joint equal then the results of the previous
round are takien into consideration. We weren't to know it yet, but as the competition evolved this rule was going to become a determining factor+ but there was no time to sit back and think because the next round had already begun.

For the final eight remaining, the great roof was to become the key to the last challenge.. The name of the game remained the same: 4 eliminations, 4 qualifiers. The traverse across the roof was arduous and after an elegant exit across the drip finished up the dry tooling panel. The Russian athletes comprised of Kulikova, Filipova and Rashitova got lost in the meanders of the roof, some dropping axes, the
others simply pumping out. The battle through this horizontal roof was a great one and the route fantastic. Buchmann's elegant ballet proved the case, and she was the first to make headway on the dry tooling section before being brought to a stop due to an out-of-bounds foot placement. Maureau's determination was great too, and she was truly on top form today. Torretta and Papert produced two outstanding performances to reach the top, much to the crowd's delight.

It was spectacular: Anna Torretta was fast and sure of herself like never before, inviting the crowd to cheer her on as she cleared the lip of the roof. Ines Papert was perfect as usual, and incredibly fast - a rocket, one and a half minutes faster than the Italian. Although time wasn't a determining factor here, apart from the maximum time allowed, Papert's speed was indicative of how strong she is at the moment. But ice is a fickle element, you never know what might happen+ Petra Muller's surprise exclusion from the final underlined just this, and one of the favorites for victory saw her tiutle chances slip away in an instant (the time it took for her axe to fall to the ground) half-way through the roof.

The time had come for the true final, for the third route, the all-important one which decided who was to win and who wasn't. The final four were Anna Torretta, Stèphanie Maureau, Kirsten Buchmann and Ines Papert. The (heinous and perfect) route setters had prepared an extremely long route up the entire spider, the longest of all. What counted here was how much strength the athletes had left, how much they would manage to pull out from those hidden reserves. Maureau started off first and fought incredibly high to just beneath the final dry tooling panel. Buchmann set off next, elegant as always but this time round less strong than usual+ she fell half-way through the overhang, clearly spent. Climbing on home ground expectations were understandably high for Anna Torretta; the crowd wanted a top and she wanted it even more. It was great to see her climb smoothly, wave to the crowd and then fight up the two dry tooling holds to reach the top. Hers was a fantastic competition! . But Ines Papert was already at the starting blocks and she climbed smoothly, consistently, without hesitation, meter after meter with apparent ease. And obviously she reached the top!

For the second year running Papert is the undisputed queen of difficulty in the Valle di
Daone Ice Maser. Anna Torretta had to make do with a beautiful second place because, despite having topped out on the second and third route just like Papert, she made less headway on the first route in the final (do you remember - if athletes are joint equal the previous results are taken into consideration). Stèphanie Maureau placed third, while Kirsten Buchmann finished fourth. It was a great competition with plenty of exciting moments such as the final tops, and plenty of smiles, like those of Anna and Ines,
the two friends and rivals, once again up against each other in competitions.



Things should never be taken for granted. Those
who, after the Women's Final, expected the Men's
Final to be just as difficult, had to think
again. The 12 male finalists were offered a more
climbable first route, or rather, one which was
more technical than powerful. Numerous athletes
topped out on a line which highlighted how
beautiful dry tooling can be, but resulted in
many joint-equals. Hannes Pfeifhoferr started the
day off and just missed the top by failing to
clip the chain in time, while Bubu Bole reached
the final holds without any difficulties
whatsoever, climbing quickly and aggressively.
Just when the crowd was beginning to take things
for granted Markus Bendler was stopped for his
out-of-bounds foot placement. But this was to
become the round of endless tops and so, one
after the other, all competitors reached the
abseil chain. Diego Mabboni, Mario Prinoth
(classy style), Herbert Klammer (machine-like
power), Albert Leichtfried and Evgeny
Kryvosheytsev (speedy gonzalez) all topped out,
meaning that 9 of the finalists had qualified for
the next round with full marks.

But the competition held more surprises in store,
such as young Samuel Anthamatten's incredible
"invention": a giant leap from one ice patch to
the next which enabled him to avoid the dry
tooling section altogether. Samuel is
extraordinarily crazy, and extraordinarily gifted
and electrifying: the crowd loved him and his
thunderous style! The other surprise during this
first round came from none other than Harry
Berger himself, who fell low down on the first
route. Luckily for the Austrian he was still well
within the toprope section and so he was allowed
to start again - as fast as lightening - to make
up for lost time, to reach a top and save a
competition which seemed all but lost. Fantastic!
What's more, according to the rules this fall had
no penalty points whatsoever. And so the first
stage came to an end after the formality tops of
Simon Anthamatten and Simon Wandeler, meaning
that Prinoth, Klammer, Mabboni, Leichtfried,
Berger, the Anthamatten brothers, Wandeler and
Kryvosheytsev all qualified for the next round.
Those who didn't were Markus Bendler, Hannes
Pfeifhoferr and Bubu Bole who, despite today's
top, was penalised for his inferior results in
yesterday's Open.

Just like for the women's final, the men's second
exclusion round was the large roof, this time
though with the extremely overhanging dry tooling
start. Albert Leichtfried set off first, climbing
strongly to the lip of the roof. Local Diego
Mabboni showed immediatly that the top was
possible by only just missing it as he was beaten
to clipping the chain not by the route itself but
by the relentless clock. A few seconds were all
that was needed... Mario Prinoth fell as he
climbed from the lip onto the dry tooling
section: his axe ripped off the first, tiny
artificial hold. Nothing and no one could stop
Herbert Klammer who chugged to the top like a
train. And nothing and no one could stop Harald
Berger who, climbing in his usual impeccable
manner, topped out. Just like the incredible elve
Samuel Anthamatten who, climbing fast as
lightening, sent one figure-of-four after the
other to reach the chain. There was just one
question on everyone's lips: how do you manage to
bring these athletes down and, above all, how do
you separate them? This question became
increasingly more important as the next two
athletes topped out: excellent Simon Wandeler,
one of the most elegant climbers in Daone today,
and Simon Anthamatten, certainly as strong and
imaginative as his younger brother Samuel. The
result: 5 athletes had topped climbed cleanly
through the incredible roof, all 5 were perfectly
joint equal. And they could have been joined by
Evgeny Kryvosheytsev, had he not committed a foul
by pressing the lip of the roof with his hand...
Evgeny, Prinoth and Mabboni failed to qualify
therefore. And the competition continued.

The third and final round now awaited Klammer,
Berger, the Anthamatten brothers and Wandler. And
this last route was a long route, the longest of
all, the most overhaning, spectacular and
acrobatic past three hanging drips. The idea was
simple: by now the competitors are tired, at last
they'll have met there match. What's more, the
outing is so long they'll have to race to keep
within the time limit. We thought we'd see some
true difficulty. That's what we thought, because
sine the outset these certainties were destined
to become serious doubt, above all when Klammer
stopped climbing only when he ran out of holds to
pull on. His top was matched by that of Berger,
increasingly precise, decisive and concentrated.
And then it was his turn, the turn of the small,
impossible and unstoppable Samuel Anthamathen
who, climbing at breakneck speed, swung, hit, and
dynoed to the top. Suddenly it looked like this
round was to become a dummy, had Simon
Anthamathen and Simon Wandler reached the top,
too. But things were to turn out differently,
though only just - Wandler ran out of time just
beneath chain. So at the end of mammoth
competition a super-final was needed to separate
these three athletes who, after 6 routes and 6
tops, were all there, tied for first place.

This is how the "massacre" super-final came to
life. Or rather, two more routes, the passport to
paradise and the end. The first climbed through
the roof and was made harder by the route setters
by minimising the zones, while the second climbed
up the marathon column to the top of the
structure, and this too was rendered a few grades
harder by reducing the zones. A little spice was
added to the show by reducing the rest time
between one climb and the next: 6 minutes only,
just to make sure that the athletes had no time
to recuperate... Well, Herbert "machine" Klammer
showed that all of this was to be of no avail by
immediately topping out on the powerful first
route, and he was emulated by the warrior Samuel
Anthamatten and "prince" Harry Berger. Another
three tops! Joint-equal once again.

How strong can these climbers be? But there was
no time to think because Klammer was already
beneath the finishing holds of the last route...
but time ran out. Incredible Samuel Anthamatten
accelerated right from the start and, chopping
axes and crampons produced a genial and
unthinkable climb to top out! Unstoppable! And to
cap it all, just to show that more couldn't be
achieved, he climbed out onto the top of the
structure, took out some slack and leaped off
into the void. Just like in the early days of the
Rock Master... and the crowd went wild. But
Berger was already out of the starting blocks,
and he produced a perfect performance, naturally
right to the very top. And so, after 8 routes all
climbed cleanly, Harald Berger and Samuel
Anthamatten were announced the joint winners of
the first stage of the UIAA Climbing Ice World
Cup 2006. Herbet Klammer, the strong one, placed

What more can be said at the end of this marathon
run here in Daone? You've probably guessed by now
that it was a great competition with great
athletes. Let us add hat there were many, many
people who came to watch. And let us state that
the future of ice climbing competitions have seen
the light here in Daone. And that these athletes
have proven to be mature enough for pure
difficulties (and a spectacle) that was
unimaginable up until only yesterday. Only the
future knows what lies in store. Naturally here
in Daone, on the craziest, most beautiful and
incredible ice structure in the world. . Those
who have never seen ice climbing competitions

See you here in Daone in 2007 for another great Ice Master!

Sent by
Vinicio Stefanello,
Jan, 23 2006

Ice Master Valle di Daone 2006: great sport, ice climbing and nature.
From 20-22 January the Italian Valle di Daone will once again be in the limelight of world ice climbing with the start of the Ice Climbing World Cup Difficulty and Speed.

Ice Master World Cup Valle di Daone 2006, the ice climbing spectacle! From Friday 20 to Sunday 22 January 2006 the Ice Climbing World Cup resides in Daone, the valley located in the Trentino region of Northern Italy which has become synonymous for world class competitions. As usual the competition venue will be exceptional: the most incredible ice structure ever created, something Daone and the entire ice climbing movement can justifiably be proud of.

Three fun-packed and spectacular ice climbing days await in Daone. Three days of celebrations and out-of-this world competitions with the best ice climbers in the world battling for the prestigious UIAA title. Many fans will be there to cheer them on and to admire the classic "La Sportiva Ice Meeting Pareti di Cristallo", which this year celebrates its 8th anniversary on more than 140 icefalls in the valley. Furthermore, in the wake of last year's success, the special "Educational" will once again teach schoolchildren the natural beauties of Valle di Daone by bringing them into direct contact with the mountain environment.

So Valle di Daone, after three World Cup editions and last year's European and World Ice
Championship Ice Boulder, will once again take the driving seat of ice climbing competitions with the first stage of the Ice World Cup 2006 Difficulty and Speed. And once again the Pareti di Cristallo Committee is headed by the newly elected president Romolo Ghezzi, who is flanked by an army of volunteers, Maurizio Gallo, the ice
structure engineer and Riccardo Milani, the organisational director of the event. They are
the life and soul of this great international happening which renders Daone one of the most important ice climbing centers in the world.

Will the 2005 World and European Champions Harald Berger and Ines Papert manage to repeat last year's success? Will there be the same exciting superfinal, which saw the Austrian and German beat the Italian Herbert Klammer and the Russina Natalia Koulikova right at the last moment? One thing is certain: in what is reputed to be the world's most beautiful ice climbing competition exciting moments abound. Come here to believe it!

Three days of international sport, ice climbing and nature await in an amazing mountain
environment, as does the proverbial welcome and hospitality of the entire Valle di Daone.

Vinicio Stefanello, Planetmountain.com