Italian climbing legend, Walter Bonatti, dies

Walter Bonatti, one of the greatest mountaineers of the 20th century - and UIAA honorary member, passed away on September 13 in Rome. Walter Bonatti was born on 22nd June, 1930 in Bergamo, Italy. His first big ascent was the north face of the Grandes Jorasses , Pointe Walker in the Mount Blanc range. When he was only 19 he started training to become a mountain guide. In 1951 he did the first ascent of the East...

The “enduring legacy” of Alan Blackshaw

Former UIAA president Alan Blackshaw passed away on August 4 in hospital in Inverness, Scotland. He was born in Liverpool on April 7, 1933. The following tribute to Blackshaw about his contributions to the UIAA is by Dave Morris, a former President of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission: For over 20 years Alan Blackshaw was a major contributor to the work of the UIAA, from when he first represented the British Mountaineering Council on the UIAA Mountaineering Commission in the mid...

UIAA to reaffirm commitment to Kathmandu declaration

Ahead of the 2011 UIAA General Assembly in Kathmandu, Nepal (October 5-8), the UIAA President, Mike Mortimer, spells out the reason for holding the event in the Himalayan nation and the challenges facing the world’s international mountaineering body. Nepal: How important is it to hold this year's GA in Nepal? What kind of message will holding the event in the home of some of the world's biggest and most iconic mountains send to the international mountaineering...

First summitter of Kanchenjunga dies

Patron and former President of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), George Band, who made the first ascent of Kanchenjunga and was on the 1953 Everest expedition, died on August 26 at his home. Read the obituary on the BMC website....

Who is eligible for hut reciprocity discounts?

There are almost 1,200 mountain huts offering accommodation for a total of 66,000 people in the entire alpine region – from Slovenia to France, including the Pyrenees. Those eligible to benefit from reciprocity are offered the same overnight rates as members of the hut-owning associations; in some huts, these special conditions are up to 50 per cent of the regular rate. In the last 10 years, the hut-owning associations have invested almost €170 million in the...

The facts and economics of mountaineering in Nepal

Ang Tshering Sherpa, Immediate Past President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association provides detailed mountaineering facts and figures in Nepal. His exhaustive study not only provides statistics and highlights exceptional climbs but also tries to show the economic importance of the sport to Nepal’s economy. Here is Ang Tshering Sherpa’s report: As promised in my previous newsletter, in this email I am giving you some figures and statistics in an attempt to answers interesting and important questions...

Members see UIAA as modern and reliable

Earlier this year, the UIAA asked Member Federations to help define the future direction of the international mountaineering body over the next five years. The results of the survey are encouraging with more than 75 per cent of UIAA Members taking the time to complete the detailed survey. When asked how the UIAA can support its Members, 79 per cent said they looked forward to receiving help on Training Standards, with information on a reciprocity agreement for...

French mountaineers publish manifesto

The French Mountaineering and Climbing Federation and other key mountaineering and climbing stakeholders in France have published a manifesto to promote a common vision for the future of mountain practices: This manifesto (Assises de l'Alpinisme. Read English version here) is the result of the work initiated in 2010 by the Mountaineering and Mountain Practices Observatory (l’Observatoire des Pratiques de la Montagne et de l’Alpinisme, OPMA) and based on the crucial following question: nowadays and in the...

Accidents in climbing halls on rise

The Legal Experts Working Group of the UIAA has published a paper on the growing number of accidents at indoor climbing facilities. The following is the group's observations: Over the last 20 years many climbing halls have been built and indoor climbing is the training venue for many climbers. It is part of their social life. Artificial climbing walls are especially important in countries which have few or no mountains or cliffs, but they exist even in...

2012 Ice Climbing World Cup schedule announced

he schedule for the 2012 Ice Climbing World Cup events has been announced. On January 14 and 15, the season will kick off for the second year in a row with Lead and Speed competitions in Cheongsong, Korea, hosted by the Korean Alpine Federation. This event will also be the Open Asia Championship. One week later (January 20, 21), the world's elite ice climbers will head to Europe for Lead and Speed events in Saas Fee, Switzerland which will...