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Canadian Rebecca Lewis is North American Ice Champ

Canadian Rebecca Lewis atop the podium Photo Carter Stritch

Earlier this month, USA Ice Climbing and Peabody Ice Climbing hosted the 2018 UIAA North American Ice Climbing Championships.

Thirty-two athletes representing four countries (USA, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong) competed in both the speed and lead disciplines.

Due to the warm weather leading up to the competition, the speed competition took place on vertical 10m wood towers instead of ice towers. Catalina Shirley and Kevin Lindlau, both from Durango Colorado, took first place in the women’s and men’s categories respectively.

The lead competition started off with a five route, flash style qualifying round.

Athletes had four minutes to complete a route, one minute transition time, four minutes to rest, and another one minute transition before starting the next route.

Routes went in order from easy to challenging to accommodate the wide range of experience; first time competitors to World Cup athletes.

Lead semi-finals for both men and women took place on the 50-foot lead structure. The routes started on a 10-degree overhanging wall and quickly transferred to the 50-degree overhanging wall, where some athletes performed acrobatic figure-four moves to progress from one hold to the next.

Lead finals brought a unique route for the men that went up, over, and down a small arch and then traversed the start of the women’s route and followed a variation of the women’s route to the finishing hold.

Men’s Lead Podium
1st Place – Kevin Lindlau
2nd Place – Liam Foster
3rd Place – David Bouffard

Women’s Lead Podium
1st Place – Rebecca Lewis
2nd Place – Angela Limbach
3rd Place – Georgia Witchel

Men’s Speed Podium
1st Place – Kevin Lindlau
2nd Place – Liam Foster
3rd Place – David Bouffard

Women’s Speed Podium
1st Place – Catalina Shirley
2nd Place – Georgia Witchel
3rd Place – Angela Limbach

Photo by Carter Stritch