Angelika Rainer, from Steel Koan M13+ to Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival victory
Italian climber Angelika Rainer repeated Steel Koan M13+ at the Cineplex Cave in Canada and then went on to win the Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival, USA.
I've always wanted to go to Canada to do some mixed climbing. The country is famous for its countless icefalls but, as I had gleamed from a few articles, it's also well worth visiting for its mixed climbing. The famous "Cineplex cave" for example is the home of two outstanding routes, the world's first M12 and M13 and I've always dreamt about climbing at this historical crag one day. So after months of training, on 7 December my partner Marco and I boarded a plane bound for Calgary, final destination Lake Louise. On landing we were immediately greeted by the Canadian "warmth", by what I had seen and feared beforehand, namely temperatures down to -30°C. Following advice given to us by our Canadian friends, on our first day we went to the slightly warmer Haffner Cave. Here, despite the terrible -27°C that made my hands freeze while using the thin gloves needed for climbing hard mixed routes, I managed to flash the two most famous climbs, The Caveman and Fire Roasted JC’s Rig, graded M10- and M10 respectively.
On our second day we went to the Cineplex cave and after having examined the massive roof I decided to try Steel Koan, M13+, not only the hardest route in the cave but also throughout the rest of Canada. The route overhangs steeply right from the outset and after a few metrs has two long moves, one onto a rounded hold where the ice axe tends to slip. After this you have to deal with a 10 metre horizontal roof to reach the ice at the lip of the cave. On the last day of our unfortunately short stay the temps finally reached -10°C and, motivated by this "present", I doggedly succeeded in redpointing the route. I'm really happy with this achievement. Steel Koan is certainly the hardest mixed route I've climbed up to now and I managed to pull it off it in just three days, in contitions that were far from ideal.
Shortly afterwards we jumped in the car and drove south for 12 hours, to Bozeman in Montana, which held the American Open Championship. This was my first competition this season and great preparation for the World Cup circuit that will kick-off in January. I really enjoyed this well-organized comp, climbing in the final in front of the fantastic, enthusiastic crowd. And I even managed to top out and win the competition. Beautiful.
by Angelika Rainer
17th Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival, USA
December 11-15, 2013
1. Angelika Rainer, Italia
2. Stephanie Maureau, Francia
3. Sarah Huenkien, Canada
1. Janez Svolijaak, Slovenia
2. Will Gadd, Canada
3.Will Mayo, USA