Nearly 60 athletes from 14 countries are expected to contest the fifth round of the UIAA Ice Climbing European Cup season on Saturday 22 January.
The event in Malbun, Liechtenstein is the first official UIAA competition hosted in 2022. The last event took place five weeks ago in the Netherlands, following on from competitions in Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
There will be two overriding motivations for athletes this weekend. For those who have competed throughout the season, this penultimate round of the European competition (lead only) may prove decisive in determining the overall standings. The event also provides the perfect opportunity to hone form ahead of next weekend’s UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships and World Youth Championships taking place in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. The latter is the pinnacle event in the 2021-22 season.
Women: Four of the top five women in the current European rankings will be present in Malbun. Finland’s Enni Bertling (303 points) is set to contest the title with Marianne van der Steen (276) of the Netherlands. France’s Juliette Bergman (190) and Poland’s Olga Kosek (165), currently fourth and fifth, will seek to join them on the season’s podium. Switzerland’s significant travelling team includes Sina Goetz, winner of Round 1 in Bern, and witnesses the return of another UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup star in Petra Klingler. Japan, four athletes, and the United States with three female climbers are well represented.
Men: Current leader Virgile Devin (312 points) of France will seek to build his lead over nearest rival, Dennis van Hoek (247). All five of the leading men across the European Cup season are present with William Morris (218) of Great Britain, Romania’s David Bouffard (212) and Switzerland’s Nikolay Primerov (180) all in attendance. In his two appearances this season, Primerov has claimed a gold and a silver. Switzerland, six athletes, and the United States, four athletes, bring strength in depth.
A livestream will be made available from the event:
Further details on registrations as well as the event programme can be found here. The event is organised by UIAA member federation Liechtensteiner Alpenverein LAV, who successfully staged the 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships.
The final European Cup of the season will take place in Oulu, Finland from 18-20 February.
A full preview of the weekend in Saas-Fee will be published on Monday 24 January.
Photo: Action from the last UIAA event held in Malbun, the 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships. Credit: Michael Zanghellini/UIAA
TITLE SPONSOR UIAA ICE CLIMBING WORLD TOUR