Rock Climbing Photography

Ice Climbing Competition. Story & photos.

All this happened in February, but here is a short coverage of the event.

It was a two day competition format with qualifications and semifinal in Saturday  and finals and speed in Sunday. The organizers had a really hard time setting the routes as the temperatures the last days were way above the usual at this time of the year and all the ice was melting. Apart form that there was the high risk of avalanches which almost forced the organizers to cancel the competition. Luckily this was not necessary and the competition started as planed.

The first days the temperatures were abnormally high – around 10 degrees Celsius which led to a very unpleasant climbing on melting ice. The wet snow made the approach much more difficult and all this resulted in soaking wet competitors and audience. The day ended with rain which made things even worse, melting everything around.

Luckily the forecast for the next day was for much lower temps which gave me hope that the finals will not be postponed or canceled and I can make the shots I wanted.

And so it was the next morning – cold and dry. Temperatures about -5 degrees which made the ice solid enough for the finals and hardened the snow for an easy approach. After setting a rope for me to climb on and make my shots the finals started.

Shortly after it also started snowing. At the beginning just a light snow but slowly getting heavier and heavier and temperatures going lower and lower with a light but freezing wind. All that made my stay on the fixed rope more than unpleasant resulting in freezing my ass off…

And the worst part was that with the increasing snow fall my chances to get the desired photos started to disappear. By the time the best competitors started on the route the snow was so heavy that I could hardly focus on the climber and the photos resulted in a blurry white mass with a vague silhouette of a climber.

When it was all over I was all frozen from the 90 minutes stay on the rope and all I could do is to fast rappel down, pack my stuff with shaking hands and run back to the hut to get some warm tea and a long stay close to the fireplace.

The result? Well, not very well, but could have been much worse if the temperatures did not started to drop down. Here is the result in a few images. Hope you will enjoy them.


  1. Alpmaster
    Posted %A %B %e%q, %Y at %I:%M %p | #

    Nice photography! I like the photos very much!
    алпмастер – алпинисти

  2. el_secundo
    Posted %A %B %e%q, %Y at %I:%M %p | #

    cool story dude, love the pics.

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