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 over 600 spectators. Workshops, slide shows 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 Gatean Raymond took 3rd. 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. 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 Samuel Anthamatten (CH), Kurt Astner (IT), Neil Gresham (GB), Dodo Kopold (SK), Petra and Jack Müller (CH), Ines Papert (DE), Klemen Premrl (SI) and Matthias Scherer (DE).
Two pairs of climbing brothers offered the exciting slide-shows on Friday and Saturday Night at the Congress Hall in Kandersteg, where about 300 spectators were entertained on each night. Simon and Samuel Anthamatten, from Zermatt, Switzerland, thrilled the crowd with their show “Small Climbers - Big Mountains” on both evenings. And then Nicolas and Olivier Favresse 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 off a perfect evening.
The Ice Climbing Festival in Kandersteg is the largest event of its 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.
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 neighbourhood.
Media partners were the climbing magazines Vertical and Klettern.
All photos were shot by Andrea Badrutt, from Chur (CH).
Final Results - Ice Climbing Festival Kandersteg 2011