The UIAA has announced that it will make the Bozeman ice festival an official stop on the World Cup of ice climbing.
From the UIAA:
The Bozeman Ice Festival® which has been held in the U.S. state of Montana since 1996 is now part of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup. The UIAA Ice Climbing Commission’s decision to sanction Bozeman as an official UIAA World Cup event earlier this month means that the U.S. stop will launch the 2015 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup season December 11 to 14, 2014. The other events on the World Cup tour are Cheongsong, Korea (Jan 9 and 10 2015,) Saas Fee, Switzerland (Jan 23 and 24 2015,) Rabenstein, Italy (Jan 30 – 31 and Feb 1 2015,) Champagny, France (Feb 5 and 7 2015,) and Kirov, Russia (6 – 8 March 2015).”
Bozeman has proved over the years that it can hold an ice climbing competition event that meets international standards and we are proud that North America is now part of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup,” said UIAA president Frits Vrijlandt. “Competitive ice climbing is an increasingly popular global sport and the growth and presence of the sport in North America is yet another step in the evolution of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup and our Olympic aspirations.”
Marc Beverly, an American athlete who participates in the Ice Climbing World Cup and is an ice climbing ambassador for the UIAA said “Bozeman holding a World Cup helps in the quest to make ice climbing a part of the Winter Olympics.”
“Over 50 of the best competitive climbers in the world will convene in Bozeman for the first World Cup of the season,” said Beverly. “There are already commitments from multiple countries to send teams including France, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Italy and Canada.” See here for the 2013 results of the Bozeman Ice Festival.