The IFSC Lead Climbing World Cup tour inaugurated the 2016 season this week in Chamonix, France. Domen Skofic, from Slovenia,
who finished fourth overall in the lead circuit last year, won for men. Janja Garnbret, also from Slovenia, ranked first in every round and took home
gold for women.
Competitors saw tough routes in Chamonix accompanied by rain and chilly temperatures during the finals round. Both men and women’s finals’ routes followed
a forty-five degree wall that branched upwards to a near-vertical headwall leading to the anchors. American climber Delaney Miller, who slipped
off a misplaced heel hook in semi-finals and finished in 19th place, joined the announcer for finals. “Whenever I was on [the wall], I swore it
was 60 degrees, it felt so steep,” she said.
No men topped out on the final’s route. Stefano Ghisolfi (read his "Snapshot" profile from RI issue 234 here)
and Jakob Schubert, who placed second and third respectively, were both shut down about ten feet from the anchors while transitioning from slopers
into a double orange volume.
For women, two climbers, Garnbret and Anak Verhoeven, reached the top and tied for points. But it was Garnbret who took first by narrowly beating Verhoeven’s
time by only a few seconds. Jain Kim, from Korea who finished third, fell one move away from the anchors after her fingers popped off a small undercling
on the bottom of the final volume. During the semi-finals, neither the men’s nor the women’s routes were completed.
Mina Markovic, from Slovenia and reigning overall champion from last year, entered this year’s final round on an appeal, and ended in sixth place. Adam
Ondra, who cinched the men’s title last year, did not compete.
Sean Bailey was the only male competitor representing the U.S. on the men's side. He made it to semi-finals and finished in 12th place. Miller, the only
female competitor from the U.S., also pulled through semi-finals and landed in 19th.
In the Speed Climbing event, Marcin Dzienski, of Poland, took first place in finals with a time of 5.96 seconds against Libor Hroza, of the Czech Republic,
who had a time of 7.95 seconds. Anouck Jaubert, of France, took first in the women's finals with a time of 8.27 seconds over Polish climber Aleksandra
Rudzinska who fell.
The Lead World Cup circuit will continue next week in Villars, Switzerland, and then return to France before visiting Austria, Italy, China and Slovenia.
For the complete schedule and rankings see IFSC’s calendar and website.