The following statement was published by EUMA, the European Union of Mountaineering Association (a Continental Organisation recognised by the UIAA), on 15 June 2020.
EUMA STATEMENT: MOUNTAINEERING POSTCOVID-19
From the EUMA, the European Union of Mountaineering Association, an organisation that includes the mountain and climbing federations and clubs of 25 European countries and representing nearly 3 million members (and many more who are not organized within clubs) who practice mountaineering, hiking, trekking, ski-mountaineering, climbing, etc. on trails and mountains across Europe.
We want to express:
- The need for freedom of movement when sanitary conditions are adequate, to be guaranteed in the conditions prior to the health crisis. Mountaineering is a sport that, beyond geographical or border limits, is characterised by the respectful enjoyment of nature without attending to any limits other than effort and capacity. The individual’s actions should neither endanger people nor cause damages to the environment.
- Concern about the effects that this situation will have on the vulnerable economies of rural and mountain areas that have an important supplement and support in these activities. We invite society, especially mountaineers, to prioritise the visit to these areas in their next outdoor activities and to walk the thousands of kilometers of trails that link our towns, valleys, peaks, climbing walls and mountain ranges uniting nature, art, history and sport.
- Concern about the situation of the mountain huts.
They provide the following services:
- safety service
- support for mountaineering activities
- information, care and promotion of the natural values of the location
- conservation of trails and the environment
Mountain huts are expensive to maintain. They are normally maintained by residents of the valleys who see the continuity of their work at risk, just as the voluntary work of many mountaineers. We want to
- request everyone to support the group of hut keepers,
- encourage alpine clubs, mountaineers and climbers to use huts for their activity programmes,
- demand from the European authorities an economic plan to support the maintenance of endangered facilities for the safety of activities in nature.
Drawn up on the 15 June 2020 by Juan Jesús Ibáñez Martín for the European Union of Mountaineers Associations