Five decades, that is a significant achievement. In the fall of 2019, the Fédération québécoise de la montagne et de l’escalade (FQME), established in Canada, will celebrate its golden 50th anniversary. The FQME has been an associate member of the UIAA since 1975.
Over the years, the FQME has established and affirmed its reputation in the province of Quebec. The organization ensures the development and promotion of outdoor, indoor, rock and ice climbing as well as mountain skiing to its 3,800 individual members and 58 member organizations (including mountain schools, indoor gyms, camps, schools and all regional clubs in Quebec). The federation also organizes and hosts events like the provincial climbing Championships and an annual festival, the Festiroc.
Half a century after the creation of the federation, climbing and mountain activities are still at the core of the FQME. The FQME regroups all the organizations in Quebec related to these areas. The community is well served thanks to the different fields of expertise of the federation, which is always striving to be more innovative.
The FQME offers many essential training courses to its members to make sure that they are all patented and that they meet provincial, national and international standards and regulations. As a result, five patents have been created since 2016: ice climbing instructor, camp instructor, indoor climbing center instructor, traditional lead climbing instructor and via ferrata rescue.
The FQME also has 71 sites affiliated with its organization. In order to better serve its community, it travels 15,000 kilometers per summer to manage the establishment and development of the sites and negotiate agreements with private properties to expand the playgrounds available to climbers and to provide management that is fair and respectful of the environment.
With the advent of Sport Climbing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, this discipline continues to gain popularity in the province. Moreover, the 10th season of the Quebec Cup circuit, which provides the opportunity to the provincial sports elite to compete in three disciplines (boulder, lead and speed) at several high-level competitions, ended last spring. Athletes are also supported and encouraged by the federation to compete with rising stars from other Canadian provinces.
In 2016, mountain skiing activities started to make their appearances in the Quebec landscape and since then, this discipline has constantly attracted new thrill seekers. The FQME thus created, developed and improved 14 sites dedicated to this practice on its territory to meet the expectations of these mountain skiing enthusiasts.
To close the FQME’s 50th anniversary festivities, the federation will organize the 10th edition of Festiroc, which is the largest climbing festival in the province and will take place from 6-8 September. The annual event celebrates the end of the summer climbing season in Quebec and brings together hundreds of curious beginners as well as climbing fans. For the occasion, the FQME will open a new climbing wall in the Val-Morin region, where the festival will be held. As every year, camping sites, conferences, workshops, activities related to climbing and with respect to nature will be on the agenda of the attendees.
To discover more about the FQME please visit their website.
Main photo: An archive group picture of the FQME team in Val-David. Claude Lavallée (second row, right, in the brown jacket) is the founder of FQME and will be part of Festiroc 2019