At the end of August, the UIAA Access Commission travelled to Canmore, Canada for its 31st annual meeting. Hosted by the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC), the Commission welcomed members from Azerbaijan, Canada, Iran and Taiwan together with President Juan Jesús Ibañez Martin (FEDME, Spain) and UIAA Executive Board member and Commission link Peter Farkas.
Among the key topics discussed were the recent, and temporary, access restrictions imposed by French authorities on Mont Blanc (see more here), the developing situation in Nepal following the recent impact of UIAA discussions with the Government of Nepal (see dedicated article) and the ongoing access situation in Argentina and Chile.
Since 2017, UIAA member federation Federación Argentina de Ski y Andinismo (FASA) has worked on implementing a law which would set certain guarantees about the practice of mountaineering in Argentina, access to the country’s mountain ranges, and put in place agreements on concepts related to rescue. In Chile, the Federación de Andinismo de Chile (FEACH), another UIAA member, has conducted a national survey about mountains and mountaineering, the results of which are being used to shape discussions related to access.
Progress made by the I.R Iran Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation’s Access Project, put in place following last year’s UIAA General Assembly in the country, was commended by the Commission. The Access Project has been given the brief to lead matters related to access to Iranian mountains, protection of nature and ensuring all paths and routes are as safe as possible for climbers and mountaineers.
The Commission also agreed to increase the scope of its activities, to be achieved by working more closely with UIAA’s largest member federations and those already represented in the Commission.
Following the Access Commission meeting, Juan Jesús Ibañez Martin and Lawrence White, Executive Director of the ACC, held a talk with local clubs and climbers, introducing the work of the UIAA and worldwide vision of the Access Commission.