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The Climbing Legends in action during The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival 2014
Photo by The North Face ® / Matteo Morcellin
The Climbing Legends at The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival 2014: Gerhard Hörhager, Yuji Hirayama, Jean-Baptiste Tribout, Patxi Arocena, Ben Moon and Boone Speed
Photo by The North Face ® / Eddie Gianelloni
A climber taking part in the Climbing Marathon of the The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival 2014. The island of Telendos is clearly visible in the background.
Photo by The North Face ® / Eddie Gianelloni
Deep Water Solo at Vathi during the The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival 2014
Photo by The North Face ® / Eddie Gianelloni

The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival 2014 - the report

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The report of the The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival 2014 that took place on the island of Kalymnos, Greece, from 9 - 12 October 2014.

Third year, third great The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival. The celebration on the island of Kalymnos ended on Sunday and was marked by great climbing and, judging by the smile on the participant's faces, pure joy and true friendship. There were many highlights during these intense four days, countless beautiful moments that everyone will remember for a long time to come. Thanks also to those 6 climbing legends who on this small Greek island demonstrated exactly why they are considered true "Legends".

On Friday night, in front of the large Story Tellers audience, Spain's Patxi Arocena, Japan's Yuji Hirayama, Austria's Gerhard Hörhager, Great Britain's Ben Moon, France's Jean-Baptiste Tribout and America's Boone Speed shared stories about their love for climbing, talked about their diets and the legendary Lycra tights so in vogue during that period, about the routes and the competition, palpable but nevertheless fair, between them, fueled by the irrepressible desire to explore new vertical, and off-vertical terrain previously deemed mpossible.

On Saturday at Princess of Telendos, a unusual crag by Kalymnos standards wedged between the walls of a narrow canyon on the island of Telendos, the six climbers managed to make the first ascents of 9 new routes up to 8b (evergreen Yuji Hirayama freed the hardest), witnessed carefully by a small crowd of onlookers who had taken the boat across the sea to watch them in action. The day proved relaxed, very "humane", unique even, and was repeated the next morning at the Deep Water Solo clinic, since the Legends turned up on their own accord at Vathi, on the island's east coast, to help the Iker Pou and his brother Eneko. 20 participants listened carefully as the two expert deep water solo climbers explained the basics of DWS safety, then they all hopped on the boat and climbed upwards, at times plunging down into the warm Aegean sea.

The sea ... The life of the island and its inhabitants has always revolved around water, but Hansjörg Auer and Simone Moro drew attention not only to the horizontal horizon but also the vertical sphere during their Thursday visit to the high school at Pothia. The two opened the student's eyes to the enormous natural potential locked inland, a resource that if used properly can guarantee a future and stop them from having to emigrate, as many of their ancestors were. After the lesson Moro, Auer and the schoolchildren all went climbing together, many for the first time ever. And many of them tagged along with their parents to check out the evening celebrations and this, in many ways, was one of the best and beautiful signs that the festival had hit the mark. At the end of the day, as its name suggests, the event is celebration for Kalymnos, to which not only climbers are invited, but everyone, without exception.

Proof of the event's success also came from the number of participants: 500 climbers registered for the Marathon Competition (add to this all those who took part but didn't officially register). 500 is a significant number, especially if you consider the fact that this translates into 500 bolts that will replace those existing bolts deemed dangerous, and also the hard work of replacing them by qualified climbers. It's in this context that the event partner Climbing Technology held its climbing clinics; a highly appreciated opportunity to test new products and talk directly with those who designed them and use them on a daily basis. The safety issue was addressed further with the donation by the Legends and TNF who donated the 5000 euro prize money in favour of the Kalymnos Mountain Rescue Service and the orthopedic ward of the hospital at Pothia. A beautiful and important gesture, a way of giving something back to the island that, since 1997, has fueled the dreams of climbers worldwide.

THE NORTH FACE ATHLETES AT THE FESTIVAL
Hansjoerg Auer, Hervé Barmasse, Caroline Ciavaldini, Jacopo Larcher, Tamara Lunger, Simone Moro, James Pearson, Eneko Pou, Iker Pou, Matt Segal, Siebe Vanhee

COUNTRIES REPRESENTED
Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA

For further information: kalymnos.thenorthfacejournal.com and via the social media using #Kalymnos and #KCF14

THE NORTH FACE KALYMNOS CLIMBING FESTIVAL

15/10/2013 - The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival 2013, everyone wins 
02/10/2012 - The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival 2012: a huge success

TOPO: Climbing at Kalymnos, Greece

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