REPORT: Kandersteg Ice Festival 2012by Jack Geldard - UKC & Nicole Räber - Black Diamond Jan/2012
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Black Diamond, one of the lead sponsors and organisers.
Headlining the event was Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck plus the 'Spray On' team of Will Gadd and Tim Emmett. Their presentations and slideshows were well received, showing mind-blowing footage and images from around the world.
Despite a severe lack of ice in the Kandersteg valley, psyche was high and over 100 people entered the drytooling competition. The floodlit men's final was won by the Swiss Patrik Aufdenblatten, with Austria's Markus Bendler and the Russian Nikolai Primerov claiming second and third places. In the women's competition first place was secured by the Swiss climber Petra Klingler. Petra Müller, also from Switzerland and who has claimed victory in previous years, was second.
The technique workshops on Saturday and Sunday were attended by around 60 eager participants, who tested their skills in dry tooling and received tips and tricks from the competition finalists and seasoned ice climbers
The Saturday night party was one to remember, going on until the early hours of the morning, with ice climbing aficionados from around the globe sharing drinks, ideas and dancefloor space.
A video of the event is currently in production and will be shown on UKClimbing.com soon.
The local partners were Kandersteg Tourismus, Kandertal Tourismus, Kandersteg town council and Red Bull.
The magazines Vertical, Klettern and Desnivel and the websites UKClimbing.com and Bergfreunde.de were the media partners.