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Ramon Julian Puigblanque
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Angela Eiter
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Rock Master Lead: Eiter and Puigblanque top the Semifinal


Angela Eiter and Ramon Julien Puigblanque qualify for the Rock Master Lead with today's only two tops. All the best qualify for the Lead final including Adam Ondra (2°), Jakob Schubert (3°), Jorg Verhoeven (4à). Italian hopes high for Jenny Lavarda (3a) and Silvio Reffo (7°).

Even rain can’t stop play. And Rock Master is, as always, Rock Master. Which translates into the wettest Lead competition ever and the lasting image of that sea of brave umbrellas. And, above all, the magic produced by the usual suspects. He, Ramonet alias Ramon Julian Puigblanque, comes from Catalonia. She, Angela Eiter, comes from Austria. Both are a certain guarantee. Two true climbing machines. Who once again demonstrated that, beating them here at the Climbing Stadium, will prove tough if not nigh-impossible.

Only Ramonet and Angela reached the top during this first on-sight round which selects the 8 after-work finalists. Ramonet’s rise upwards was imperious and included a footless traverse on the final volume which will be long remembered. Angela displayed her usual strength and impressive ability to fight to the bitter end while always remaining completely lucid: her quick glance at her watch to check how much time she had left was textbook style. These two called the shots for the final Rock Master victory, it was almost as if they wanted to reaffirm that they are the king and queen of Arco. It has to be said though that Arco’s Climbing Stadium saw much more magic than this though…

The first to cast her spell was Dinara Fakhritdinova, the young Russian athlete who earned her place by winning the Open round. Fakhritdinova couldn’t have started worse and she battled hard on the first crux filter – extremely low down – for what seemed like forever. Climbing past this seemed impossible… but just when everyone had given up hope she sent the moves and, with power well below zero, fought like a lion, only to be stopped by the clock. The time she’d wasted proved fatal but she placed provisional 4th nevertheless, and was beaten by the excellent and determined Jenny Lavarda (her provisional 3rd place is her best of 15 Rock Master results) and Russia’s Evgenia Malamid who climbed extremely smoothly, only to fall just below Angela Eiter’s highpoint.

King Puigblanque’s claim to reign may be undermined by another “monster” in the form of great Adam Ondra. And while it may be true that the Czech champion fell just short of the top, this certainly did nothing to dampen his magic. An example of which was the hands-off rest only he managed to find (perhaps not even the route setters were aware of this) where the route moved from one wall to the next. He did the splits, put his back against the wall, waved to the spectators and voilà, Ondra was the hands-off star. His climb was a demonstration of class and intelligence, and even if he didn’t top out, it’s certain that there’s much in store in the next “afterwork” round. Also because those who almost reached his highpoint are superb rock stars in their own right; Jacob Schubert and Jorg Verhoeven fell 4 and 6 holds lower than Ondra, at the start of the traverse for the final rush towards the top, and these two can certainly make a comeback and set their sights on overall victory.

All these climbers will be joined by Italy’s Silvio Reffo, 7th after the on-sight but with plenty of margin to do better still, Austria’s Mario Lechner (5th), Slovenia’s Urban Primozic (6th), Venezuela’s Reinaldo Camacho and Mikhail Chernikov, joint 8th. The list of female finalists is completed by Alizée Dufraisse from France (5th) and the Austrians Barbara Bacher and Christine Schranz (joint 7th). Today’s truly bad news is that Sasha DiGiulian won’t battle it out in this evening’s final: despite placing 6th, the American has decided not to compete due to a finger injury. This injury is disappointing, also because it may have taken away some of yesterday’s joy, written all over face when she was awarded the Arco Rock Legends Salewa Rock Award…

The Climbing Stadium actions continues at 19:30 with the Speed World Cup Quarte finals, Semis and Finals. These are followed at 20:30 with the great final on the afterwork Rock Master Lead. Watch it all as it unfolds live on the official website www.rockmasterfestival.com!

Women onsight
1 Angela Eiter AUT Top
2 Evgenia Malamid RUS 49+
3 Jenny Lavarda ITA 43+
4 Dinara Fakhritdinova RUS 38
5 Alizée Dufraisse FRA 36+
6 Sasha DiGiulian USA 35+
7 Barbara Bacher AUT 34+
7 Christine Schranz AUT 34+

9 Valery Kremer ISR 29+
10 Carolina Rosero ECU 23

Men onsight
1 Ramón Julian Puigblanque ESP Top
2 Adam Ondra CZE 46
3 Jakob Schubert AUT 42+
4 Jorg Verhoeven NED 40+
5 Mario Lechner AUT 38+
6 Urban Primozic SLO 23
7 Silvio Reffo ITA 22+
8 Reinaldo Camacho VEN 19+
8 Mikhail Chernikov RUS 19+

10 Klemen Becan SLO 19
11 Tomas Ravanal CHI 15+






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