The UIAA has published its Mountain Ethics Declaration on December 11 to mark International Mountain Day.
The Declaration spells out ethics of sportsmanship, respect for cultures and care for the environment, and it was approved at the UIAA General Assembly on October 10.
It includes 12 maxims, addressing issues such as the responsibility to assist others in need, the factual reporting of ascents and the use of supplementary oxygen.
“It is most appropriate that this declaration be announced on International Mountain Day – a declaration that has been endorsed by more than 40 mountaineering federations from across the globe,” said UIAA President, Mike Mortimer.
The Declaration also includes a maxim on Access and Conservation, endorsed by the UIAA’s Access Commission.
“Responsible access to practice our sport is not simply about environmental protection, albeit a very important part. Wider responsibilities are detailed throughout the ethics code including respect for: local and national mountaineering ethics, local people, cultures and religions and responsibility to others,” said Access Commission President, Clare Bond.
“Medical emergency situations can always arise in a remote setting and hopefully, after reading the Declaration, people will be encouraged to help others,” said Buddha Basnyat, UIAA Medical Commission President. “This will help foster a culture of sensible behaviour and selflessness.”
Doug Scott, the famed British mountaineer, worked diligently on the document. “The Mountain Ethics Declaration is very timely,” Scott said, “especially to help those climbers in areas where there is no strong consensus of opinion as to the best way forward.”
The final Declaration was many years in the making, and drew on the work previously presented at various times as the Mountain Code, the Summit Charter and the Tyrol Declaration.
The UIAA will review the Declaration on a periodic basis ensuring that it will be a living document.
Download a copy of the Mountain Ethics Declaration.
Download the UIAA press release.