Via ferrata systems and plastic chocks to be tested

The growing popularity of via ferrate among families with small children and the advent of climbing chocks made with polymers will lead to new testing and investigations by the UIAA Safety Commission (SafCom). At its annual meeting in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland in late May, the expert panel - which develops global standards for climbing equipment performance – agreed to move forward on a number of testing issues. These involve I-beam karabiners, energy absorbing systems for via ferrate,...

French efforts to maintain freedom of risk taking

The following article was provided to the UIAA by Annibale Salsa, past president of Italy's CAI, Claudio Picco and Carlo Zanantoni. It is a summary of a recent mountaineering symposium in Grenoble, France and touches upon the issue of restrictions on the freedoms of access and risk taking that the authors insist are fundamental freedoms of mountaineering: "At a meeting this spring in Grenoble, France the French mountaineers showed great organizational capability and attracted a large...

Eco Everest Expedition 2011 successful

The Eco Everest Expedition 2011, under the leadership of Dawa Steven Sherpa, succeeded in efforts to clean and collect garbage, debris and waste left by past expedition groups. The following report was provided by Dawa Steven's father, Ang Tshering Sherpa, of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, and Asian Trekking: Apa Sherpa, Climbing Leader of Eco Everest Expedition 2011 reached the summit of Mt. Everest on May 10 for the 21st time - a new world record with the...

Hut reciprocity agreement explained

here 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...

Tribute to the late Stefano Tirinzoni

Stefano Tirinzoni, member of the UIAA Management Committee, passed away on April 29 at the age of 62 after a long illness. He worked as an architect and in urban planning in his home town of Sondrio, Italy, and he had a special interest in the field of mountain huts. He was responsible for the recent rehabilitation work of the hut, Capanna Marco e Rosa, in the Bernina sector of the Alps. He worked with the Italian Alpine Club (CAI)...

Further developments on Training Standards label announced

Significant progress has been made on the further development of the UIAA Training Standards label. Also discussed at the recent meeting in Switzerland of the UIAA Mountaineering Commission was traditional climbing and an update to the Legal Experts Working Group document on legal liability. The full report on the meeting is from Phil Wickens, commission secretary: The UIAA Mountaineering Commission met in Bern, Switzerland, in April. The meeting, which was hosted by the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC-CAS), was very well...

UIAA condemns building of hotel in South Africa protected area

The UIAA Access and Mountain Protection Commissions have condemned the development of a luxury hotel in South Africa’s Magaliesberg Protected Environment (MPE). The construction of the Kgaswane Country Lodge is being fought by the Magaliesberg Protection Association (MPA), which is supported by other organisations including the Mountain Club of South Africa. A review hearing is set to take place on May 5 and 6. In a letter sent to Edna Molewa, South Africa’s Minister of Water Resources and Environmental Affairs, the...

Greenland and Mount Logan climbs recognised with Piolets d’Or

Two climbs have been awarded the 2011 Piolets d'Or: Greenland Big Walls Expedition and Mount Logan South East Face. The following text is from the organising committee of the prestigious award, which is supported by French, American, British and Italian alpine clubs - all member federations of the UIAA: The jury, presided over by Greg Child, has come together to deliberate on the six expeditions selected for the 19th edition of the Piolets d’Or. The selection was made from...

Doug Scott: Embodying the spirit of modern Alpinism

British climber Doug Scott tells the UIAA about his contributions to mountaineering, the challenge of preserving traditional climbing and the importance of the Piolets d’Or award for encouraging innovation and exploration. Scott is the 2011 recipient of the Piolets d’Or Lifetime Contribution Award – only the third climber to have been given the honour, after Walter Bonatti (2009) and Reinhold Messner (2010). He spoke to the UIAA ahead of the Piolets d’Or ceremony on 16 April in Courmayeur, Italy....

UIAA signs MoU with Peace and Sport

The UIAA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based organisation that promotes peace through sport in poor areas of the world. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the SportAccord meeting in London on April 5 by UIAA Vice President, Jordi Colomer, and Peace and Sport (P&S) founder and president, Joel Bouzou. “The UIAA has a firm belief that mountains are areas of peace and respect for nature. The practice of...