Basque Mountaineering Federation celebrates centenary

Presidents of the Basque territorial federations

The Basque Mountaineering Federation, a UIAA associate member since 2002, is to stage a wide-ranging programme of events throughout 2024 to mark its centenary.

Events include crowning the six highest peaks in the Basque Country, climbs involving around 100 Basque mountaineering clubs under the title ‘100 urte 100 mendi’ [“100 Years, 100 Mountains”], the issue of a special commemorative ticket by the National Lottery and the presentation of a documentary on the history of the Basque-Navarre Mountaineering Federation.

The following press release comes from the federation:

In 2024 the Basque Mountaineering Federation [Euskal Mendizale Federazioa – Federación Vasca de Montaña] and the Navarre Federation of Mountain Sports and Climbing [Federación Navarra de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada], known as EMF-FVM, will be celebrating their centenary with a wide-ranging programme of events designed and organised by their joint working body Euskal Herriko Mendi Biltzarra.

The year started with the issuing of joint membership cards to members of the two federations and the distribution of 500 commemorative flags to member associations, clubs and individuals. An exhibition under the title ‘Mendian izan gaitun / Nos queremos en las cumbres’ [“We Were There at the Peak”] is also currently touring the Basque Country. It comprises 20 panels aimed at raising the profile of and acknowledging the role played by women, particularly as pioneers.

On 19 January the Hotel Lakua in Vitoria-Gasteiz is to be the venue for the presentation of gold badges to members from Alava in recognition of at least 40 years of continuous federation membership. Similar ceremonies will be held for members from Bizkaia at the Club Deportivo in Bilbao on 23 February, and for those from Gipuzkoa in Tolosa on 24 April.

“The events staged to mark the centenary continue on 16 March, when the governing boards of the federations from the Basque Autonomous Community, Navarre, clubs from the French Basque Country and the provincial federations of Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa will be climbing the 6 highest peaks in the Basque Country. The federations of Bizkaia and Araba will be meeting at the top of Mount Gorbeia, while the Gipuzkoa federation will be crowning Mount Aketegi. The Navarre federation will be climbing Mesa de los 3 Reyes. Members of the Auñamendi MT club in Labourd (in the French Basque Country) will be climbing Mount Okabe (in Basse Navarre) and members of the Orhimendi Club in Soule will climb Mount Orhi. The EMF will take on the ascent of Mount Artzamendi (in Labourd).”

On 20 March we will be carrying the baton at the Korrika (a 10-day fun-run in support of the Basque language that winds its way right across the Basque Country) as it passes through Elgeta, the town in Gipuzkoa where the EMF-FVM was founded in 1924.

On the last weekend in April over 100 mountaineering clubs from all over the Basque Country will take part in ‘100 urte 100 mendi’ [“100 Years, 100 Mountains”]: an event in which they will crown 100 peaks spread across the whole of the Basque Country. Each ascent will be recorded for posterity in a photo of the climbers with the commemorative centenary flag. The clubs taking part have also been provided with cards on which they can note down details of their climbs and draw a map to mark the event. We will then prepare a document that records all 100 climbs in as much detail as possible, to preserve the memory of this mass-participation event.

On 11 May the National Lottery is to pay homage to the EMF-FVM by using a blend of the traditional logo of the Federation and the centenary logo as the illustration on that day’s lottery tickets. A week later, on 18 May, an institutional event attended by politicians, members of public institutions and clubs will take place in Elgeta, the birthplace of the EMF-FVM. This event will end with a communal meal at the town pelota court. A commemorative plaque will be unveiled in the town hall square and there will be live music, Nordic walking and other attractions.

On 17 June, Vitoria-Gasteiz is to host an exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Expedition Tximist, a Basque expedition that crowned Everest in 1974; then, on 13 October, there is to be a joint hike to ‘Erdigune’, the geographical mid-point of the Basque Country, located in the Urbasa Andia Natural Park. This event will also serve as the setting for the presentation of Hermandad de Centenarios [“100 Club”] diplomas, which are awarded to individuals who have climbed all 100 mountains registered as such by the Federation.

On 18 October Vitoria-Gasteiz will again be the venue for a special centenary gala featuring the presentation of a documentary on the history of the Basque-Navarre Mountaineering Federation produced by Labrit. On 12 December the magazine Revista Pyrenaica is to publish a monographic issue under the title 100 años de la Federación Vasco Navarra de Montaña [“100 Years of the Basque-Navarre Mountaineering Federation”]. Finally, by then we expect the audiovisual presentation commemorating the centenary events to be ready to show, and work on the Edificio Arkaute building in Tolosa should be on course to house the Museum of Basque Mountaineering.

For further information and should a UIAA member association wish to be involved in any of the events please use the following contact email.

Special 100 year logo


Official Website