World Cups await: Climbing highest and fastest

The most complete UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour since 2020 intensifies over the coming weeks with three World Cup competitions in as many countries.

Partnered by Outdoor Research, the 2022-23 UIAA Ice Climbing season got underway in November with two European Cup events held before the end of the year. The World Cups though are the real deal where competition is not only of an elite standard but incredibly intense.

Action starts from 13-15 January in the Korean mountains with athletes returning to one of the historic stops on the World Tour, Cheongsong. The climate is as piercing as the hospitality and support is warm. A week later, from 19-21 January, the French Alps play host with Champagny-en-Vanoise set to offer typically excellent ice climbing conditions. The unique venue of Saas-Fee’s ice climbing dome once again has the honour of concluding the World Cup season from 26-28 January. One of the most partisan and passionate crowds in the circuit will provide an event to remember. Cheongsong also hosts the Asian Championships and Champagny, the Europeans.

Owing to Covid-19, a full UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour has not been completed since 2020. France’s Louna Ladevant made headlines on that occasion by becoming the youngest male winner of a World Tour lead crown. Last year he won the biennial World Championships in Saas-Fee.

Three years on from the last proper World Tour, there will be significant intrigue into who the dominant forces are. Both Ladevant and his older brother Tristan (third in the 2022 World Championships) will represent France together with Virgile Devin, a rising star in the European scene. The Iranian team will boast lead World Cup gold medalist Mohammadreza Safdarian and Mohsen Beheshti Rad, one of the top speed climbers and defending World Champion. In Cheongsong, a strong Korean team will seek to delight the home crowds with veteran former World Tour winners Woonseon Shin and Heeyong Park amongst those registered. Olympian Petra Klingler, World Champion in lead last year, spearheads an always strong Swiss team which features perennial World Cup podium maker Sina Goetz and Benjamin Bosshard, second in the World Championships. Other World Cup medallists set to feature are Eimir McSwiggan (Ireland) and Enni Bertling (Finland). Amongst the most sizeable teams is the United States Ice Climbing team who have 12 athletes registered for the World Cup opener.

In the season opener in Cheongsong athletes from 17 countries are currently registered, a number likely to increase for the European World Cups.

Fans, Media & Member Federations – How to follow the action

The semi-finals and finals of all speed and lead events will be livestreamed on the UIAA YouTube channel and also broadcast on the UIAA Facebook channel.

Timings and stream embeds will be available in the week ahead of each event. These will be released with a preview news release. Subscribe here to review news releases.

Photos from all events, cleared for editorial use, will be posted to the UIAA Flickr channel.

The UIAA Ice Climbing Instagram channel will offer short-form video highlights and other enticing content throughout each competition weekend.

A press review from each UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup will be published after each event. Subscribe here to review news releases.

Live results and other information can be found on the UIAA Ice Climbing website.

Main photo: Past UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in Champagny-en-Vanoise, credit: UIAA/Nils Paillard/alpy.io



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