The UIAA is proud to reward those who promote responsible rock climbing. Ever since its foundation in 1932, the UIAA has supported and developed mountain sports and rock climbing in parallel with its commitment to protecting the environment in which they are practised. High mountains, big walls, bouldering, ski mountaineering, ice climbing and rock climbing; these are all activities in the DNA of the UIAA and run in parallel to its commitment to sustainable practices. Since 2015, the UIAA has organised a dedicated Award platform for rock climbing festivals worldwide.

UIAA Rock Climbing Awards

Rewarding the true spirit of rock climbing

Since 2015 the UIAA has offered two annual Rock Climbing honours – the UIAA Rock Climbers’ Award and the UIAA Rock Climbing Festival Award. These awards – awarded at the same event – are offered to climbing festival organisers, and participants in those festivals, in recognition for meeting the criteria of the UIAA Rock Climbing Working Group.

During the assessment process for the Award, festivals are reviewed and a shortlist is drawn up of those which meet UIAA criteria and support the development of climbing in a particular region. It is an opportunity for the UIAA to offer support in the development of climbing and offer advice to organisers in terms of safety, sustainability and sport. It is also an opportunity to showcase diverse climbing styles and the points of the UIAA Climbers Manifesto.

Festival Selection

Each year the Award focuses on a special region, or continent, where nominees can apply via the UIAA online registration system. In 2018, the focus was dedicated to festivals in Central and South America. In 2019, the Award will target solely festivals in Asia.

  • The festival is organized or approved by a national member federation of the UIAA. Development festival projects may also be recognised where there is no UIAA member federation present in the country.
  • The festival is in accordance with the UIAA values.
  • Contribution is made to sustainable development of rock climbing in their country and/or continent.
  • Recognition of the efforts of climbers during the festival regarding notable ascents and other may be made.
  • UIAA Safety label equipment must be used in any workshop held.
  • Prominent climbers from that country or region participate.

The host events are published on the UIAA website at least two months in advance.

The festival must include a sustainable action plan with, at least, one of the following projects:

Promotion of  Rock Climbing for All
  • Rock Climbing for Youth
  • Para-Rock Climbing or diversity in climbing
  • Rock Climbing workshops and promoting safe practice in all styles of climbing appropriate to the region or venue
  • Evidence of sustainable climbing initiatives
Preservation of the environment
  • Environmental education around rock climbing
  • Protection of the fauna and the flora
  • Environmental sustainability and good practice
Contributing to economic development
  • Creation or development of Rock Climbing community
  • Promotion of climbing tourism in a sensitive manner
  • Sustainable job creation, support for clubs or rescue organisations


The fourth annual UIAA Rock Climbers’ Festival Award was open to events held in Central or South America. The following three events made the final shortlist and were awarded the following prizes.

OVERALL WINNER: Festival de Boulder de Mar del Plata (ARGENTINA)
Prize: 1000 USD

Prize: 1000 USD

RUNNER-UP: Capixaba Climbing Festival (Brazil)
Prize: 500 USD

Rock Climbing News

UIAA Rock Climbers’ Award Criteria

Within the framework of this festival, the Award also recognizes the commitment of climbers in the international rock climbing community in one or more of the following aspects: Safety, Sustainability, Sport. Climbers are recognised for their inspiring ascents or performances during the event  and their contributions to the country, region or continent as ambassadors of the climbing community. In doing so meeting UIAA values and displaying a spirit of friendship and fair-play.

Award Allocation

In addition to prize money being allocated, the benefits of winning these Awards are tangible, notably promotion within the UIAA’s international network (see testimonials below). The UIAA will contribute to other prizes at the festival/s in agreement with the organiser.

Prize money: Up to 2,500 CHF

For 2018 the UIAA welcomed applications from Central and South American festivals only. The application deadline has now closed. Application for the 2019 Award – for festivals held in Asia – will open soon.

Past Award Locations
Africa – South Africa
2016: Europe
2017: North America

Upcoming Award Locations
2018: Central/South America
2019: Asia


Award Assessment Team

Anne Arran

A former British climbing champion, international competitor and junior climbing team coach. Anne has been on expedition to many countries and is familiar with local climbing scenes. She is still a keen climber and runs an accommodation/outdoor activities business mainly in the French Pyrenees.

Peter Farkas

Peter comes from Hungary and is Vice President of the UIAA and a civil engineer. He began at the UIAA in 2002 as journal editor. He is an active rock climber and a former member of the Hungarian Youth National Team and was once President of the Hungarian Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation.

James ‘Marc’ Beverly

Marc is a member of the American Alpine Club and part of the UIAA Executive Board. He is an IFMGA Mountain Guide, DiMM, Physician Assistant, and is pursuing a PhD in Exercise Science. He is also a UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup competitor and sits on the International Commission of Alpine Rescue.

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