A growing number of people from around the world continue to attempt to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain and accidents on the mountain, often resulting in multiple deaths of both climbers and the Sherpas who guide them, have brought urgent attention to the issue of overcrowding.
The Government of Nepal recently floated the idea of the installation of steel ladders and fixed ropes on the “Hillary Step” to ease congestion on the route to the summit. The Hillary Step is an imposing 12 m (39 ft) rock wall situated at 8,760 m (28,740 ft), and the final challenge, before the summit.
The text of the statement which UIAA members voted to support reads:
As one of the most iconic landmarks of the world, Mount Everest belongs to all of mankind. Thus , the ascent of this magnificent mountain should be reserved to those who acquired the skills and the experience needed to reach the highest point of the world.
Therefore, the UIAA does not support the addition of permanent structures to the ascent routes, as this would lessen the value of the achievement, spoil the adventure and encourage the abuse of this sacred place we call Mount Everest.
UIAA president Frits Vrijlandt said the ultimate decision on whether to install a permanent structure near the summit rests with the Nepalese government.
“Everest is a World Heritage Site and is therefore of universal importance, not just to the people of Nepal but the whole world,” said UIAA president Frits Vrijlandt. “The UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation statement represents the views of climbers and mountaineers from around the world who have strong affection and respect for the world’s highest mountain, and which we hope the Nepalese government will consider.”
Tomatsu (Tom) Nakamura
The UIAA General Assembly voted to make Tamotsu (Tom) Nakamura, a long-time member of the Japanese Alpine Club and Honorary Member.
“Steve House is an inspiration to climbers around the world,” said UIAA Vice-President Peter Farkas. “Not only is a renowned climber internationally, but House has gone one step further and climbed an even higher mountain with his dedication to teaching what he has learned to young aspiring alpinists.”Steve House
Vrijlandt said the willingness of House to share his wisdom and experience from difficult ascents around the world, including Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, was an example of the best climbing and mountaineering has to offer.
House is also the author of Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete and a member of the American Alpine Club, a member federation of the UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation.
The assembly also voted on the election of two Executive Board members and the update of the UIAA Anti-doping regulations based on World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) requirements.
The assembly also voted on the election of two Executive Board members:
- Peter Farkas, a member of the Executive Board and president of the Hungarian Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation was re-elected vice-president of the UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation.
- American ice climbing athlete and UIAGM Mountain Guide, Marc Beverly, was appointed as Board member to further reinforce sport competition activities and the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Tour.
The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has a global presence on five continents with 80 member associations in 50 countries representing about 3 million people. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of mountaineering and climbing worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee for mountaineering and climbing.