The 13th Kandersteg Ice Climbing Festival, held between 6-8th January 2012, in one of the world's premier ice climbing areas is not to be missed. First off UKC's Chief Editor Jack Geldard will be there in Switzerland, so say hello.
Nico and Olivier Favresse, the Tresch brothers Ivan and Michi, Tim Emmett, Andy Houseman, Neil Gresham, Ueli Steck and Will Gad will also be there and you are invited.
Need some new axes for this winter? In this competition there are a pair of BD's cutting-edge mixed climbing tool The Fusions up for grabs; that's a right, a pair of these beauties. And you can win them whether you are going to the Kandersteg Ice Climbing Festival or not.
Video of Patrik Aufdenplatten Voluntarily Taking a Bit of A Whipper at The Ice Climbing Festival (filmed by Pavel Dobrinskiy)
But first off: Why go?
In short you will enjoy: ice climbing in various locations around Kandersteg, the opportunity to test equipment, watch the top ice climbers in the ice climbing competition, take part in workshops with ice climbing professionals, attend presentations by Will Gadd, Ueli Steck and Tim Emmett; and to cap it all a giant a ice climbing party. You can register for workshops here.
The Competition is open for everybody and registration is open from 9:30 am on Saturday 07.01.2012.
Where is Kandersteg?
Kandersteg is situated along the valley of the River Kander, west of the Jungfrau massif in Switerland; at an altitude of 1200 metres. Full directions here.
Ice Climbing Festival Kandersteg auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen
VIDEO: Kandersteg 2010
Warning: this video is fast paced and broadcasts loud music.
OK, the competition. Simply answer the question below. All correct answers will entered in the drawing for a pair of Black Diamond Fusion axes. Competition ends 20th December, winner announced the next day. You should get your axes early January.
Black Diamond Equipment: Ice Climbing
Ice climbing is about more than just getting freezing cold, beating your knuckles on the ice and spending your leisure time in the shade ... isn't it? Yes, say Black Diamond. Ice climbing is about passion; it is about contending with the ice. Skill is important, but state-of-the-art equipment surely helps. Check out the new Stinger crampons, coming next year...
For you to embark on your ice adventure in safety, you need more than just frozen water. Black Diamond specialise in high-performance equipment for all kinds of ice climbing: helmets, ice axes, crampons, ice screws, gloves and climbing harnesses.
Below are some of our key picks for this season, for a full selection of Black Diamond ice gear visit www.blackdiamondequipment.com
For UK stockists of Black Diamond gear go to www.firstascent.co.uk
Black Diamond Fusion Ice Tool RRP £210.00
Our premier mixed climbing tool, the Fusion performs like no other tool ever made. Incredibly lightweight, stiff and versatile, its top-of-the-line technology shines through in real world, game-changing performance.
- Lightweight hydroformed shaft extends through the grip for improved feel and rigidity
- Weight : 672 g, 1 lb 6 oz
- Length : 50 cm
- Head : Stainless steel
- Pick : Chromoly steel
- Shaft : Aluminum
- Grip : Co-molded rubber
Black Diamond Half Dome RRP £54.99
Black Diamond's focus is on developing and manufacturing the best possible protective equipment for climbing, and helmets have long been an integral part of that. Whether you are climbing brittle rocks, braving the most technically demanding alpine routes, or taking on the ice, our helmets offer superb protection. For 2011 we have completely revamped our most robust and reliable helmet.
The Half Dome now has a completely new outline, creating a completely new shape both inside and out. With two new sizes, it fits better than ever, whatever your head size or shape. The Half Dome also has a new dial system for making fine adjustments, and the total weight of the new helmet is 40g less than that of the original helmet. The Half Dome is a perfect fit and brings a whole new level of comfort, durability and adjustability to the Black Diamond range.
Black Diamond Enforcer Glove RRP £130
Black Diamond ice gloves are designed for ice climbing and working with ice axes, for which good fingertip feel and warmth are essential. The Enforcer is an ice climbing glove for low temperatures, and it now provides an even higher level of dexterity, while still protecting your knuckles from impact and wet ice.
Thanks to GORE-TEX XCR, the glove is 100% waterproof and breathable. The outer glove is made from two-ply nylon fabric with four-way stretch for total freedom of movement. The inner glove is removable and has 133g of PrimaLoft One needle punch insulation on the back of the hand, which keeps your hands warm and aids dexterity. PrimaLoft is also very convenient, thanks to its small packing size. The glove has a preformed ergonomic fit, giving it a firm grip.
Black Diamond Stinger Crampons RRP £169.99
With a comprehensive product range, Black Diamond offers rust-resistant steel crampons for a whole range of uses, from glacier walking to overhanging mixed routes. Black Diamond is constantly driven to develop new products by its love of mountains and passion for innovation.
And in 2012 there will be another innovation: the Stinger, a rust-resistant steel crampon that offers outstanding performance for mixed climbing and ice, with its replaceable single spike and asymmetrical design. Thanks to its slim heel lever, you can also adjust its fit exactly. The Stinger represents the next phase of our ongoing endeavors to produce the best high-performance products for the best and most ambitious climbers in the world.
Why rust-resistant steel? Simple.
1 There is less wear: thanks to its hard-wearing material, the spike stays sharp for longer.
2 There is no rust, so the crampon requires less maintenance and lasts longer.
3 There is no need for any environmentally harmful coating: the crampon can withstand intensive use without any environmentally harmful coating (which would peel off over time).
4 There is less snow-build up, as the flatter surface is better at keeping snow off.