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Ice Master World Cup 2002


The first thing that springs to mind as you enter Pracul is that some sort of monster has been created in Valle di Daone. Towers and angled pillars all converge strangely to the center. Like skeletal remains of prehistoric animals, this beast remains fossilised within the ice, immobile next to an enormous mushroom, this too locked in time. No, quite clearly this is not a dinosaur, nor is it the weird futuristic vision of a local artist. Rather, it is the immense, fascinating and slightly mad new ice structure created for the Ice Master World Cup IWC 2002 and the Italian Championship, designed by the Mountain Guide Maurizio Gallo.





Artificial structures for ice climbing
One of the major problems that ice climbing competitions face is the actual competition structure. The reason for this is obvious: ice transforms continuously. So the challenge lies in creating a solid structure that remains “climbable” over time, even if the temperature changes significantly. One mustn’t forget that some of the best ice climbers in the world will be competing on this structure, meaning that the routes must be extremely difficult. And since Valle di Daone will host the ice bouldering event, with short but intense routes, the ice structure takes on a completely different importance altogether…

How’s it done?
With total dedication. Constant maintenance, usually during the coldest hours deep into the night. A skeletal structure is built and then, with the help of plenty of water, intense cold and artificial snow making machines, the ice is “fabricated”. And then it’s time to get ice axes and shovels to “mould” the ice. A lot of hard work is needed to create the best possible conditions for a competition.






Ice or dry tooling
Ice climbing or dry tooling on wooden panels and artificial holds? How important is it to be able to plant the ice axes properly into the ice, if in the end it all boils down to a few extreme dry tooling moves?

This was last year’s big question and it may be that the new structure in Valle di Daone holds the answer. This year there is plenty of ice and just reaching the dry tooling sections will be a battle in itself. Route setters have got plenty to choose from this year – it’ll be great seeing the world’s best at play!



  Click to enlarge


THE STRUCTURE


ICE CLIMBING STADIUM
Location: Pracul.
Idea: Maurizio Gallo
Work carried out: Maurizio Gallo and the Pareti di Cristallo volunteers, in collaboration with the SAGF (Soccorso Alpino della Guardia di Finanza) di Tione.


1 - The towers
Description: three towers plus two 45° columns. The towers are joined together in the upper sections with wooden panels with holds for 'dry tooling'. The structure is buffered by an upside down 'V formed by two 45° columns.
Height max: 11 m
Overhang max: 8 m from the top
Angle max: 45°

2 -The mushroom'
descrizione: round ice monolith with just a few dry tooling panels, characterised by large roofs and overhanging walls.
Diameter: 5m at the base, 10m on the to section.

3 - The tribune
An ice arena measuring 40x60m for the crowd.




Romolo Ghezzi, secretary of the Organizing Comittee and Maurizio Gallo.

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