Another enthralling weekend

Cheongsong County

Pulsating. The second leg of the 2016 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour offered a stunning display of power, determination, speed and technique. The weekend’s action witnessed as many twists and turns as the tempestuous local weather.  

Cheongsong, South Korea played host to Round 2 of the competition which welcomed over 100 athletes from 18 countries and a large crowd ignored the erratic elements to enthusiastically lend their support.  

In the men’s disciplines, two different athletes claimed gold medals as the competition intensifies ahead of the final two rounds of the competition in the European Alps. In the women’s event things were more straight forward as Maria Tolokonina continued her peerless domination in both lead and speed. 

Video highlights from the competition sponsored by The North Face Korea will be available shortly on the UIAA YouTube channel. The best action images from the weekend are now available on the UIAA Flickr account.

Local favourite upsets form book

Russian athlete Maxim Tomilov made short work of the men’s competition in December’s season opener in Bozeman, Montana winning gold medals in lead and speed.

In Cheongsong, Tomilov flew home with just one silver (in lead) as his overall lead was cut in both competitions.

The speed competition was claimed by Tomilov’s younger compatriot Vladimir Kartashev while a local favourite claimed gold in lead after a dramatic head-to-head final.

Speed was wide open from the start with Egor Trapeznikov, Alexey Tomilov and Nikolai Kuzovlev, all of Russia, qualifying as the fastest three competitors from the preliminary rounds, all putting impressive times down on the new competition wall built especially for this UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup event.

Come the final, and despite not qualifying in the top three, Kartashev left the rest of the field in his dust as he cruised to victory and claimed his first gold medal of the season - just a few tenths of a second from a sub-7 second finish. The podium was Russian dominated with Alexey Vagin claiming silver and Maxim Vlasov bronze.

Tomilov had a chance to rectify that missed opportunity in the lead discipline with the competition going down to the wire. In the finals, local favourite HeeYong Park matched Tomilov’s winning score in both height and time. It could only mean one thing. A Super Final to determine the winner.

Tomilov climbed first, looking understandably fatigued. He put in a credible performance, reaching just over the half-way point. Park now knew what he had to beat. Slipping a few times, it looked as though he may also be worn out from two days of intense competition. However as he gained height and negotiated the steeper, more difficult sections, the Korean athlete found his rhythm and cruised past Tomilov’s highpoint and to the top of the competition wall to finish the event in style. He even celebrated with a swan dive off the ice-barrel at the top of the wall!

His victory was popular with the home crowd. "I am very happy,” said Park. "Many fans were watching me and supporting me. I won because of them. The competition is very tough. We’re looking forward to Saas Fee now.”

Despite a relatively frustrating weekend, Maxim Tomilov continues to lead both disciplines of the men's competition.

Can anyone stop her?

Russian athlete Maria Tolokonina took her gold medal tally for the season to four as she maintained her 100% record on the 2016 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. She will be the first to admit though this was a tougher competition than Bozeman.

The women’s lead competition saw a mix of nationalities demonstrate their skills with Eimer McSwiggan of Ireland among those to qualify for the finals for the first time. Korean athlete Han Na Rai Song looked the most impressive qualifying for the semi-finals and finals in first place.

But come the final Tolokonina found her climbing feet, putting in a fantastic performance, climbing higher than all of the athletes before her and with only Song to climb, guaranteed herself a place on the podium. The crowd waited with baited breath to see if Song could surpass the efforts of the 28-year old Russian but a fall low down on the route relegated her to fourth place. Fellow Korean Shin Woonseon took silver and Ekaterina Vlasova bronze.

Tolokonina also came from behind in the speed competition, coming from fifth in the field to win gold ahead of compatriots Maryam Filippova and Ekaterina Koshcheeva.

The Asian Championships were claimed by Korean athletes Park Hee Young (male, lead and speed), Shin Woonseon (female, lead) and Ha MinYoung (female, speed).

Next stop? The ice climbers have less than a week before Round 3 of the competition. Saas Fee, Switzerland awaits on 22-23 January. Live streaming of the event will be available on the UIAA website.




1) HeeYong Park (KOR)
2) Maxim Tomilov (RUS)
3) Alexey Tomilov (RUS)

1) Maria Tolokonina (RUS)
2) Woonseon Shin (KOR)
3) Ekaterina Vlasova (RUS)


1) Vladimir Kartashev (RUS)
2) Alexey Vagin (RUS)
3) Maxim Vlasov (RUS)

1) Maria Tolokonina (RUS)
2) Maryam Filippova (RUS)
3) Ekaterina Koshcheeva (RUS)



1) Maxim Tomilov (RUS) 200 points
2) HeeYong Park (KOR) 155
3) Alexey Tomilov (RUS) 145

1) Maria Tolokonina (RUS) 200 points
2) Ekaterina Vlasova (RUS) 145
3) Woonseon Shin (KOR) 120


1) Maxim Tomilov (RUS) 155 points
2) Alexey Vagin (RUS) 145
3) Alexey Tomilov (RUS) 131

1) Maria Tolokonina (RUS) 200 points
2) Maryam Filippova (RUS) 160
3) Nadezhda Gallyamova (RUS) 116

Full results and details about the 2016 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour sponsored by The North Face Korea are at: http://www.iceclimbingworldcup.org