Russians continue to dominate Ice Climbing speed World Cup

Russians continue to dominate Ice Climbing speed World CupRussian athlete Maria Tolokonina and countryman Pavel Batushev won the women and men's World Cup speed competitions in Mojstrana, Slovenia on January 31. This was Batushev's first win of the season, after collecting a silver medal in last weekend's World Championship in Saas Fee. The second and third places went to Matevs Vukotic, Slovenia and Pavel Gulyaev, Russia. Tolokonina's victory was her third of 2009, including a gold in...

Unknown peaks in Tibet documented by Japanese expedition

A Japanese expedition lead by mountaineer Tamotsu Nakamura has photographed and documented little-known peaks and ranges in the Deep Gorge Country of South East Tibet and Sichuan, China. Between October 23 and November 30, 2008, the expedition travelled 4,000 kilometres. Leader Nakamura was joined by mountaineers, guides and other support staff from Japan, Tibe and China. The first goal of the expedition was to explore Dungri Garpo, a 6,090m mountain in Deep Gorge Country. They encountered problems...

Russians, Italians and Austrians win at Ice Climbing World Championships

The Austrian climber Markus Bendler, and Russian and Italian athletes were the big winners at the Ice Climbing World Championships that concluded in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee on January 24. Bendler won the men's competition in the Lead event repeating his success from Val Daone and becoming Men's World Champion. Angelika Rainer from Italy was the only woman to reach the top and took the World Championship gold medal. The Italian team from the...

Author returns to Himalayan Golden Age

A former Honorary Secretary of the Himalayan Club, Trevor Braham, has published his memoir of mountain exploration from the 1940s to the early 1970s. In “Himalayan Playground, Adventures on the Roof of the World, 1942-72”, Braham expresses his love of mountains and the challenges they present. In the book, he says these amount to laying bare “personal strengths and weaknesses” and yielding “rewards that are uniquely personal”. It is a collection of stories of journeys and expeditions...

K2 tragedy and a first ascent marks Pakistan season

The Alpine Club of Pakistan has published records of this year's expeditions in the country. 2008 will probably be remembered most for the 11 deaths on K2, but the season also saw one first ascent. Seventy-six expeditions were given permission to climb one or more Pakistani peaks in 2008. Two expeditions were not allowed to climb peaks close to the Siachen Glacier because of the military presence there. 2008 proved a very bleak year for K2, as...

Food security is focus of International Mountain Day

Organisations around the world called attention to the issue on December 11, designated by the United Nations as International Mountain Day. For the last six years this day, which was declared by the UN after the International Year of Mountains in 2002, has been used to focus on issues such as biodiversity, peace and tourism. The 2008 theme for the International Mountain day was food security, which is an important issue for many people living in popular...

Pit Schubert honoured for lifetime contributions to safety

Engineer and mountaineer Pit Schubert has been elected the UIAA's latest honorary member, in thanks for his extensive work on making the sport safer. The German climber played a major role in establishing the UIAA Safety Label standards for mountaineering equipment. From 1973 until 2004, Schubert was a member of the UIAA Safety Commission and for the last eight years he served as president. He founded the Safety Commission of the German Alpine Association (DAV) in...

UIAA nominates Dawa Steven Sherpa for IOC award

The UIAA has nominated Dawa Steven Sherpa for the IOC Environmental Award, which recognises and encourages the implementation of good environmental practices in the field of sport. The UIAA believes that the work done by Dawa Stephen Sherpa, before, during and after his Eco Everest Expedition 2008, is worth international recognition. That is why it has nominated him for the IOC Award for Sport and the Environment. Set up by the International Olympic Committee for Sport...

New commission president brings global focus to mountain protection

Linda McMillan, the new president of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, brings with her broad experience from representation of climbers in environmental projects. McMillan, who comes from the United States, was elected at the UIAA General Assembly in Iran in October. She is the UIAA delegate from the American Alpine Club (AAC) and has held various positions in the AAC including Vice President from 2000-2003. She has been a member of the UIAA Access and Conservation...

Disciplinary action pursued in Patrouille des Glaciers doping case

The UIAA is pursuing disciplinary proceedings against French Ski Mountaineering athlete Patrick Blanc, who tested positive after the 2008 Patrouille des Glaciers, the long distance teams’ world championship. The UIAA Disciplinary Commission started its work on October 6. It is chaired by the British legal expert Ian Alderson, and includes a representative from the newly formed International Ski Mountaineering Federation (IFSM) and a medical doctor. The commission must deal with the case after Blanc’s A and...