The following update has been provided by Hitoshi Onodera, Japan Mountaineering and Sports Association, and member of the UIAA Access Working Group. The statement – translated by Onodera into English – comes from four mountaineering associations – Japan Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Association, Japan Workers’ Alpine Federation, Japanese Alpine Club and the Japan Mountain Guides Association.

On 25 May, the Japanese government announced the complete cancellation of the emergency declaration due to the spread of the coronavirus infection. 

Below are the basic guidelines for resuming mountain sports after the lifting of lockdown measures. For more detailed guidelines, please refer to the rules of the local government or the mountain club to which you belong. Compliance with the guidelines will prevent mutual infections among mountain rescuers, medical personnel, residents in the mountain area, and mountain sports companions, and contribute to the prevention of the spread of secondary infectious diseases. 

There is always a risk of coronavirus infection even if it is completely released. We ask for your continued understanding and cooperation. 

Guidelines for mountaineering/sport climbing activities 

  1. Stay as close to home as close as possible (within 100 km) without crossing prefectures.
  2. Do not climb if you are unwell (fever above normal temperature, chills, malaise, breathlessness, cough, etc.). If a corona infection develops after visiting the mountains, it may be fatal and cause a great deal of inconvenience to the rescue team and the local medical institution.
  3. Go mountaineering with a small number of people. (The party is limited to 5 people for the time being).
  4. During the period of self-restraint, there are unexpected dangers such as changes in mountains due to seasons and earthquakes, and the deterioration of mountain trails. Be sure to submit enough preliminary climbing route information, maps and mountaineering reports, and leave them with your family.
  5. Wear a mask while climbing. When wearing a mask, pay sufficient attention to heat stroke and dehydration, and be careful to drink water. 
  1. Maintain your social distance when mountaineering and in climbing gyms.

Generally it is around 2 meters, but it is said that greater distance is required when climbing. In addition, there are restrictions on the building structure, number of people, etc. at the climbing gym, so please follow the gym guidelines. 

  1. Please refrain from shopping in mountainous area and any social gatherings after descending to prevent infection of local residents. Prepare foods, beverages, emergency food, etc. before departure.
  1. Focus on retraining the muscle strength and core that have declined during lockdown

Due to the spread of Covid-19, social structure and the economy have changed drastically, and it has become necessary to establish a new lifestyle corresponding to it. Both mountain climbing and sports climbing require activity guidelines from a new perspective. With the cooperation of all four mountain groups, we will strive to revive safe and secure mountain sports.

We would like to thank all of you for your cooperation during the period of lockdown

Thank you very much.

Four mountain groups

Japan Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Association
Japan Workers’ Alpine Federation
Japanese Alpine Club
Japan Mountain Guides Association