Olympic Caliber Competition Heats Up at the North American Ice Climbing World Cup

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Theresa Blake
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Olympic Caliber Competition Heats Up at the North American Ice Climbing World Cup 

Additional prize money and open spots for North American Athletes could shake up the World Cup seeding

 Bozeman, Mont. – (Nov. 26, 2014) – As one of only six events in the world, the North American Ice Climbing World Cup draws more than 50 of the world’s best competitive ice climbers for a jaw-dropping display of Olympic-caliber mixed climbing and speed ascents. 

Athletes from over a half a dozen countries worldwide will make the trek to Bozeman, Mont. to kick off the World Cup Ice Climbing Tour, December 11-13. The top women and men in the sport will battle it out for over $15,000 in prizes, and hard-earned World Cup points. 

An additional $3,500 in prize money, presented by Lowa Boots, is reserved specifically for the top-three placing North American men and women in both Lead Difficulty and Speed Climbing. As the host country, the U.S. is guaranteed up to 16-spots in the competition. Yet with three short weeks remaining, there are still many spots open to American competitors.

“The call is out for U.S. athletes to pick up their axes, leave their training grottos and find their way to Bozeman,” says Competition Director Conrad Anker. “The Bozeman Ice Festival is committed to supporting and encouraging all aspects of the sport from the wilderness experiences and traditional fundamentals we teach in Hyalite Canyon to the Olympic-caliber competitive side in downtown Bozeman.” 

“Money for athletes is just one means for generating excitement to compete,” adds Lowa General Manager Peter Sachs. “In addition to cash on the barrel, North American Champions will receive a unique hand-crafted trophy by renown local glass artist, Ona Magaro using genuine Hyalite rock.” 

2013 Defending North American Champions:

  • Lead Difficulty Men: Will Gadd, CAN (2nd place overall)
  • Lead Difficulty Women: Sarah Hueniken, CAN (3rd place overall)
  • Speed Climbing Men: Adam Knoff, USA (1st place overall)
  • Speed Climbing Women: Kendra Stritch, USA (1st place overall)
Will Gadd, 2013 Bozeman Ice Festival (Ben Herndon photo)

As an internationally sanctioned competition, registration for US athletes is required through the American Alpine Club and closes December 1st. Not just about the money and bragging rights, the Bozeman Ice Festival embodies the world ice climbing culture with four full days of clinics, classes, films, events and family fun. 

For more information at the World Cup page at www.bozemanicefest.com or contact Janet Miller at jmiller@americanalpineclub.org. To view the registered field for Bozeman, refer to:http://www.iceclimbingworldcup.org/registration.html.

About BIF and Friends of Hyalite
The Bozeman Ice Festival (BIF) presented by Black Diamond Equipment began in 1996 is dedicated to promoting and protecting the world-class ice and mixed climbing in Hyalite Canyon and also promoting Olympic-caliber competition. For more info, please visit bozemanicefest.com. Proceeds from BIF directly support Friends of Hyalite, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to funding winter road plowing in Hyalite Canyon, home to the longest season of accessible ice in America. For more info, please visit hyalite.org.

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