Like in the previous years, you also took part in the Ouray Ice Festival. This competition seems to be pretty different from the rest, not only because of the routes on real rock. Please, say something about atmosphere, rules and your feelings about the event.
It’s very different, because you have just one try (no opens and semi-finals) and we climb the same routes as men do. That makes it much more interesting for me. The atmosphere is very good. Thousands of motivated climbers from all over the world at all levels. Everybody is climbing there and the comp is just one part of the event. If you are able to read the rock very well, you can do it. It’s not that hard, although the routes are long and it’s hard to find good placements on the rock. But this comp is one of my favourites.
Let’s come back to the World Cup competitions. Unfortunately, the patronage of the UIAA wasn’t a guarantee of success for all competitions. For example Hemsdal and first of all Špicak finished in an atmosphere of a little scandal. But lots of climbers stressed that the Czech organizers did their best, only probably just didn’t have enough experience and means. So I guess you may say that it was the UIAA officials who were more to blame (for qualifying the event for the World Cup), rather than the organizers themselves. Do you agree?
It’s somewhere in-between. If I tried to organize an IWC event, I’d do my best to visit other comps, take care to be updated with the construction. On the other hand, the UIAA did not spend enough time and energy to help these people. After the last comp we had a meeting with the president, event organizers and some athletes. We worked on problems and tried to find a way to do it better. So I agree that the blame for the little scandals is on both sides.
So what, in your opinion, can be done, both by organizers and UIAA officials, to avoid such problems in the future?
Keeping in touch, finding good sponsors and cooperating with the media. But I can’t say, that’s it…
I know that in your opinion the highlights of the season were three competitions: Valle di Daone, Saas Fee and Busteni. Can you name the one which for you personally is connected with the most pleasant memories?
The Romanian comp was a kind of balm for our soul after Špicák. The organizers were very friendly; they made a big effort and showed that it was possible to achieve what others had failed to do. We got a feeling that we took part in the most important of the comps. They had tried to be in contact with us before the event and meet our expectations. Only the time schedule was a little too tight. The prize ceremony was over at 1 a.m. After such a long day everybody was too tired for a party.
Ines, I guess that now you will forget for some time about the Ice World Cup. What are your plans for the upcoming summer season?
My project on Cima Grande. I failed to finish it last summer because of my accident. But I will be back and redpoint it. That’s Camilotto Pellesier 8b. It’s a fantastic route. What else? Well, we will see…
Good luck and thanks for this conversation!
Photos by Klaus Fengler www.klausfengler.de
and Petr Piechowicz www.photopepe.com