Since 2015 the UIAA has offered two annual Rock Climbing honours – the UIAA Rock Climbers’ Award and the UIAA Rock Climbing Festival Award. These awards – awarded at the same event – are offered to climbing festival organisers, and participants in those festivals, in recognition for meeting the criteria of the UIAA Rock Climbing Working Group.
During the assessment process for the Award, festivals are reviewed and a shortlist is drawn up of those which meet UIAA criteria and support the development of climbing in a particular region. It is an opportunity for the UIAA to offer support in the development of climbing and offer advice to organisers in terms of safety, sustainability and sport. It is also an opportunity to showcase diverse climbing styles and the points of the UIAA Climbers Manifesto.
Following an initial trial year, one or two festivals are selected in a particular continent or continental region according to the following criteria:
The host events are published on the UIAA website at least two months in advance.
The festival must include a sustainable action plan with, at least, one of the following projects:
Promotion of ‘Rock Climbing for All’
Preservation of the environment
Contributing to economic development
UIAA Rock Climbers’ Award Criteria
Within the framework of this festival, the Award also recognizes the commitment of climbers in the international rock climbing community in one or more of the following aspects: Safety, Sustainability, Sport. Climbers are recognised for their inspiring ascents or performances during the event and their contributions to the country, region or continent as ambassadors of the climbing community. In doing so meeting UIAA values and displaying a spirit of friendship and fair-play.
Past Award Locations
2015: Africa – South Africa
Potential Award Locations
2017: North America
2018: South America
In addition to prize money being allocated, the benefits of winning these Awards are tangible, notably promotion within the UIAA’s international network (see testimonials below). The UIAA will contribute to other prizes at the festival in agreement with the organiser.
Festival organisers: 3,000 CHF
Climbers prizes: 2,000 CHF
Please note application for the 2017 Award is now closed. The winner will be announced shortly. Details of the application phase for the 2018 Award will be posted shortly.
The popular five-day event welcomed over 1,000 participants including a number of recognised international climbers representing some 37 US states and 16 overseas countries from Asia, Australasia, Europe, North and South America. This International Climbers’ Festival was recognised for its status as a rock climbing event for all types of climbers (from experienced to youth to para), a commitment to the preservation of the environment and a contribution to local economic development.
“Recognition by the UIAA affirms for us that we are achieving our goals. We will continue to review our practices and work to keep the ICF inclusive, fun, and focused on educating attendees.” Festival Director Elyse Guarino
7-9 October Kalymnos Climbing Festival (Greece)
Individual Climber prizes offered to:
“We are honoured to receive this award, the financial support will help us develop the Kalymnos rescue team and will be put towards making an even greater event next year.” Kalymnos Climbing Festival 2016
13-14 June Original Climbing Festival (South Africa)
The Rock Climbers Award acknowledged the athletes while the support of the UIAA for the event endorsed our principle of celebrating many aspects of rock climbing,” Roger Nattrass, Southern Rock Origin Mountain Festival.
14-16 August Aggtelek Climbing Festival, Hungary
The Aggtelek Climbing Festival was the recipient of the 2nd UIAA Rock Climbers’ Award. The festival is one of Europe’s longest-running as takes place on a UNESCO World Heritage site, with the rock towering over the entrance of the largest stalactite cave in Europe. Climbing is only permitted for two days a year and the festival is a showcase of the exemplary collaboration between the organisers and the local National Park, a true promotion of climbing and respect for the environment.
A former British climbing champion, international competitor and junior climbing team coach. Anne has been on expedition to many countries and is familiar with local climbing scenes. She is still a keen climber and runs an accommodation/outdoor activities business mainly in the French Pyrenees.
Peter comes from Hungary and is vice President of the UIAA and a civil engineer. He began at the UIAA in 2002 as journal editor. He is an active rock climber and a former member of the Hungarian Youth National Team and was once President of the Hungarian Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation.
Marc is a member of the American Alpine Club and part of the UIAA Executive Board. He is an IFMGA Mountain Guide, DiMM, Physician Assistant, and is pursuing a PhD in Exercise Science. He is also a UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup competitor and sits on the International Commission of Alpine Rescue.