The North Face®, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear declares the first edition of The North Face® Kalymnos Climbing Festival a runaway success as the climbing community gathered together to share the best on and off rock action as pro and amateur climbers took to the island’s walls in Kalymnos, Greece, 26-30th September 2012.
Tackling the challenging routes of the PROject contest, a set of globally renowned climbers attempted four newly bolted routes on the virgin crag - now named Psili Riza meaning High Cliff in Greek. In unusually hot and humid conditions, crowds of supporters, media and fans gathered at the wall to watch the drama unfold.
The North Face® climbers Yuji Hirayama (JPN) and Caroline Ciavaldini (FRA) were among the most successful climbers over the three days of competition in the PROject contest, alongside Alexander Megos (GER), Michael Fuselier (FRA), Nicholas Favresse (BEL), Gabriele Moroni (ITA), and Melissa Le Neve (FRA) - each climber redpointing three of the four routes to claim a share of the €5,000 prize money. Since one route in each competition remained unclimbed, the prize money was transferred to three.
Amongst the climbers who made at least one route and also took home prize money were Sam Elias (USA), Kilian Fischhuber (AUT), Dani Andrada (ESP), Hansjoerg Auer (AUT), Andre Neres (POR) & Iker Pou (ESP). Sharing a women’s separate pot of prize cash worth €5,000 with Ciavaldini and Le Neve were Anna Stöhr (AUT), Barbara Zangerl (AUT) & Anna Nikoushkina (RUS). Newly signed athlete to The North Face team, Daila Ojeda (ESP), plus local athlete, Argyro Papathanasiou (GRE) took part in the contest too.
The Open Marathon, containing routes with difficulties ranging from 3c to 7a, was won in the male category by the Spanish duo Urko Carmona Bandarian and Sergio Sola Atares. The result was particularly impressive result considering Carmona Bandarian, winner of the Para-climbing World Championship 2012 in Bercy, climbed with just one leg, creating awe amongst the climbers competing. Sandra Nakamatsu & Tiia Porri flew the flag for Greece by winning the women’s category. Ukranian duo Anna Mushchynina & Dmytro Mushchynina jubilantly claimed the mixed category title.
In the BIG Marathon, with routes of difficulty ranging from 7a+ to 8a, the strongest pair in the mixed division was Teresa Troya Gil & Iris Matamoros Quero from Spain, showing impressive motivation by the difficulty and number of their climbs. In the men’s category, it was Russian pair, Vladimir Starstev & Stanislav Poplavskiy, who took first position. Number of ascents in the BIG & OPEN Marathons totalled 1,354. Each winning team won product prizes.
Amongst those honoured at the Festival was Italian climber Andrea Di Bari, the first climber to discover Kalymnos as a climbing mecca in 1997, bolting the first 200 routes on the island. The Storyteller event, which took place on Friday night was well attended by the local community to listen to James Pearson & Caroline Ciavaldini telling story of Kinabalu, and Nicholas Favresse sharing tales of climbing inVenezuela. The Festival ended on Saturday night with a traditional Greek party night partying into the late hours.
Japanese climbing veteran, Yuji Hirayama (JAP), who made a rare visit to Europe stated: ‘Everyone in climbing should share in the experience and moments of the festival, it is great!’
Surprise performance from 19-year-old Alexander Megos (GER) ecstatically claimed: ‘This was the best competition I’ve ever participated in, really! The climbing and the atmosphere was fantastic and very relaxed.’
‘For me it was the first time in Kalymnos, and I was really surprised about how Kalymnos is rock, just all rock. The crag was exceptionally good and it was a really nice event,’ commented Melissa Le Neve (FRA).
The North Face® Kalymnos Festival returns to Kalymnos for the second edition in Fall 2013. Open to climbers of all levels, The North Face® Kalymnos Festival comprises three contests - OPEN Marathon, BIG Marathon, and the PROject competition. In collaboration with the municipality of Kalymnos, the PROject competition is set on a virgin crag and is based on 8 technically difficult routes specially bolted for the event. The €10,000 prize money will be divided by the number of successful repetitions on each route.
Taking place on existing sectors, the OPEN Marathon is built for teams of two, with male, female and mixed categories. All 388 routes have a minimum difficulty level of 3c to maximum of 7a (according to the French grading system). Scoring is based on team performance. BIG Marathon, also for teams of two, with male, female and mixed categories, and scored overall, expose 155 routes with a minimum difficulty level of 7a+ to a maximum of 8a (according to the French grading system). Prizes consist of The North Face products with a total value of €5,000.
RESULTS: OPEN MARATHON – MEN
1. Urko CARMONA BANDARIAN & Sergio SOLA ATARES (ESP)
2. Dimitry KHORONZHIN & Andrey LOSEV (RUS)
3. Claude IDOUX & Stephane DESBIENS (GRE) OPEN MARATHON – WOMEN
1. Sandra NAKAMATSU & Tiia PORRI (GRE)
2. Elizaveta KIM & Natalya KUNDELKO (RUS)
3. Natalia Mari WELLS & Rosa VERGARA ORTIZ (ESP) OPEN MARATHON- MIX
1. Anna MUSHCHYNINA & Dmytro MUSHCHYNINA (UKR)
2. Pavel MARKEVYCH & Natalya BILYK (UKR)
3. Kateryna GUNAZA & Vadim SHCHEROBKOV (UKR)
BIG MARATHON – MEN
1. Vladimir STARSTEV & Stanislav POPLAVSKIY (RUS)
2. Adam John RENSHAW & Nils Rune BIRKELAND (GBR)
3. Nick OSTROUKH & Sergij KISHCHENKO (UKR)
BIG MARATHON – MIX
1. Teresa TROYA GIL & Iris MATAMOROS QUERO (ESP)
2. Gryshko KYRYLO & Olga MENDRIEVA (UKR)
3. Grazia FENU & Herve BARMASSE (ITA)
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