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50 Years of Climbing Competitions in Russia (1947-1997) - part 2

Alexander Piratinsky, Vice-President ICC and Prof. at Ural State Technical University

In the 60s practically all major climbing competitions were held in the Crimea on Crestovaya rock, which is nicely situated near Yalta, surrounded with numerous health resorts.

Up to 3500 holiday makers came to see the competitions. The second Championship of the USSR was held in 1965 at the same place. 120 sportsmen from 20 cities and republic teams took part in the competition. USSR Championships took place till 1991.


   Elena Choumilova on a overhanging
   route in Crimea, 1996

USSR Championship of 1967 can be considered a crucial moment in the history of national climbing. Climbing competitions celebrated their 20th anniversary. No other competitions have had seen so many future stars of climbing and mountaineering. Famous M. Khergiani, 0. Kosmachev, M.Spitsyna, L. and B. Korablinys, B. Onishenko were competing on equal level with V. Markelov and V. Veselova (Vydrik) from Leningrad, A.Gubanov and N. Moltyansky from Krasnoyarsk, L. Lapshin, T. Petrova (Samoilina), M. Samoilin, A. Lebedikhin, S. Yefimov (all from Sverdlovsk).

The Climbing Competitions Committee was formed in 1968 within the framework of the USSR Federation of Mountaineering. I.Antonovich became the chairman of this committee.


Pavel Samoilin on a rock near Ekaterinburg (Ural), 1995

In 1968 sportsmen of Sverdlovsk built the first wooden simulator of a rock in the Ural Politechnical Institute (now Ural State Technical University). It began to be regularly used for training.

In 1972 the first special hall was equipped there. A complex of wooden panels was made with blocks of different shape, size and roughness which enabled to master numerous climbing techniques throughout the year. The simulators could change steepness, which considerably widened the range of their application on all levels of sportsmens training. The absence of abrasive layers enabled the sportsmen to achieve more intensive climbing up to 1.000m during training time. The methods of training at the artificial walls started to develop.

Later on, artificial training walls appeared in Leningrad, Krasnoyarsk and other cities.

Nowadays powerful facilities-artificial walls of international level-are located in Moscow and Ekaterinburg. There are manmade walls for holding competitions in Krasnoyarsk, Voronezh, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, N. Novgorod, Kazan and N. Tagil. Simulating complexes are being built in Ufa and Apatite (Murmansk region).

Beginning with 1968, Caucasian annual championships were held on Adur-su rocks in Kabardino-Balkaria, including the competitions for young people of the age of 14-15.

The first article „About Training in Sport Climbing" was published 1970 in „Sputnik Alpinista" („Mountaineer's Satellite") by V. Staritsky and V. Markelov.

Our country stuck hard organizing methodical work to promote climbing competitions and its international development. In the UIAA bulletins No-34 (1969), No 34 (1971) and No. 52(1972) articles written by I.Antonovich were published. In 1972-1974 M.Anufrikov made several reports at the General Assembly and at the Council Meeting of the UIAA. Foreign mountaineers from Austria, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Mongolia, Poland, West Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Japan were invited to take part in the USSR Championship in 1971 to Yalta.

International competitions were organized in 1976,1978, 1980 and 1982. The Open USSR Championship took place in 1984, the European Cup in 1986. World stars like Patrick Edlinger and Jakky Godoff(France), Wolfgang GuIich and Stefan Glowacz (BRD) took part in these competitions.

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