The final (4th) round of the Ice Climbing World Cup took place in Quebec over the weekend of the 1st/2nd of March. A giant mushroom, thirty metres high and made from ice and steel had been built on the ?Plaines d?Abraham?, the highest point of the town. The finals and semi-finals were scheduled for Saturday, and that?s where all the action took place : Daniel Du Lac placed a tool off-limits in the first few metres of the semi-final, and saw his chances of winning the World Cup for the second time disappear. Harald Berger narrowly missed qualifying for the final, as did Tony Lamiche. All the others made it to the final. FinalsThe men?s final was fought out on a long, winding route, with several ice-pillars on the overhang, and finished (as did the women?s route) on a suspended icicle.Stéphane Husson rapidly gained the ice-pillars, but slipped off while bridging up them. François Lombard and Aljaz Anderle fell just below. It was the Russians, particularly on form, who created the surprise. They finished equal, on the same hold, and were separated according to their semi-final results. In the women?s competition, only Ines Papert finished the route and thus won the event. Kirsten Buchman finished fourth, after a fine and very effective ascent. But she missed completing the route when an ambitious placement slipped on the final section of ?dry-tooling?. The results were as follows:

Ice Time and

Men 1. Dimitri Bytchkov (RUS)2. Evgeny Krivosheitsev (UKR) 3. Alexei Tomilov (RUS)4. Mathias Schiestel (AUS)5. Thomas Steinbrugger (AUS)6. Aljaz Anderle (SLO)7. Stéphane Husson (FRA)8. François Lombard (FRA) Women 1. Ines Papert (GER)2. Abby Watkins (AST)3. Stephanie Maureau (FRA)4. Kirsten Buchmann (GER)5. Ksenia Sdobnikova (RUS)6. Anna Toretta (ITA)7. Ildi Kiss (FRA)8. Mi-sun Go (KOR)9. Caroline Ware (SUI)
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Simon Gietl gelingt Erstbegehung 'Can you hear me' (8+/A2) (c) Archiv Gietl

Der Südtirol Simon Gietl steht am Gipfel. Kannst du mich hören? Die Frage gilt seinem Freund. Seinem Freund, dem er das Versprechen gegeben hat, sein Seilpartner zu sein bei einer neuen Linie an der Westwand der Cima Scotoni. Sein Freund kann nicht mehr dabei sein.