Alpine Journal editor goes on Swiss odyssey

Editor of the American Alpine Journal, John Harlin III, is attempting to become only the second person to encircle Switzerland, following its largely mountainous border. “According to simple map-distances, I’ll cover roughly 800 kilometres by bicycle and kayak and 1,000++ kilometres on foot—including lots of technical climbing over difficult mountains (for example, the hardest ridge on the Matterhorn),” said Harlin who began his journey on June 22. He is first tackling Switzerland’s alpine border with Italy,...

UIAA responds to Everest age restrictions

The UIAA welcomes China’s decision to ban people under 18 years of age from climbing Mount Everest. According to press reports and climbing and trekking agencies in Nepal, the decision was taken on June 10 by the Lhasa-based Chinese Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) - a branch of the Chinese Mountaineering Association, which is a UIAA Member. The move was welcomed by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). “While concerned about the restrictions on the freedom for exploration and human...

New classification system for reporting injuries

The UIAA Medical Commission has released a new recommendation to improve the reporting of mountaineering injuries. In the past, the expert panel says, “objective reporting of the injury site and its severity varied according to the injury definition and methodology used”. This led to different conclusions making “inter-study comparisons difficult or impossible”. The newly published paper describes the common protocol developed by the Medical Commission to report injuries in studies. It uses a single climbing grade reference...

UIAA outlines cooperation with continental bodies

The UIAA has informed the Pan-American Union of Mountaineering and Climbing (UPAME) of its efforts to recognise continental organisations. Present at UPAME’s recent General Assembly in Huaraz, Peru (May 29-30) was UIAA Vice President, Jordi Colomer. The General Assembly formally approved a request to ask the UIAA to recognise UPAME. José Moreano, speaking in the name of UPAME’s members of the UIAA, said that they wanted to be granted the same fee conditions as developing countries and receive...

Safety standards meeting focuses on lab testing and marine anchors

The UIAA Safety Commission has held its annual plenary session from June 2 to 4 in Longarone, Italy. The expert panel, which develops the safety standards for equipment recognized by climbers around the world, discussed the extent which approved testing facilities can subcontract their work as well as updates to various standards. Also on the agenda was the issue of corrosion of anchors in tropical, marine areas. The UIAA reported in October 2009 that anchors used on routes in these environments weakened...

Members’ value highlighted at executive meeting

Increasing value for members by providing information on expeditions and mountain huts were two of the issues discussed at the UIAA’s executive meeting, held on May 8 in Kalymnos, Greece. In his address to the UIAA Management Committee, President Mike Mortimer said he would like to see a working group launched to improve the value of UIAA services to members. A second area of activity would be the forming of continental groups as well as more...

Training assessment programme sees large demand

The UIAA’s Mountaineering Commission is reviewing its international training assessment and accreditation programme, due to the large demand from national federations. The work of the Training Standards Working Group (TSWG) was in the spotlight at a recent meeting of the Mountaineering Commission in Montserrat, near Barcelona, Spain. The meeting was hosted by the Spanish federation, Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada (FEDME), and was very well attended by 21 delegates and guests from 14 different countries. Steve Long,...

Diemberger recalls first ascent of Dhaulagiri 50 years ago

Austrian climber Kurt Diemberger, the only remaining person alive to make first ascents on two 8,000 metre peaks, tells the UIAA about the historic expedition to the top of Dhaulagiri. Diemberger will be among the guests of honour at the Dhaulagiri Golden Jubilee Celebration in Nepal in mid-May, organized by the Nepal Mountaineering Association. Fifty years ago, a perfect day came along in the Himalaya, when the sun sparkled and the wind became a whisper, and six...

Nakamura reveals Sichuan’s unclimbed peaks

Renowned Japanese climber and explorer, Tamotsu "Tom" Nakamura, has returned from a recent expedition to Sichuan, China. His report, below, details the many unclimbed peaks in the region. Many of the peaks he refers to can be viewed in this gallery of his photographs. Nakamura report: Unclimbed Summits in Sichuan China 2010 As shown on the map below (see gallery), only a few unclimbed 6,000m peaks remain in Sichuan, China, but there are many alluring peaks exceeding 5,400m – 5,500m which inspire...

Slovenia celebrates milestones

The Alpine Association of Slovenia is celebrating a couple of important milestones in 2010, and is putting the final touches on the country's first mountain museum. The following report on these key anniversaries and events was provided by the association president, Ekar Franc. Aljazev Stolp - Triglav Tower 115 years anniversary of the »tower« on the top of Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia and in the Julian Alps (2864 m) with the first ascent in 1778. This year is...