Featured, Membership, Mountaineering, UIAA

The UIAA Mountaineering Commission (MountCom) met in Novi Sad, Serbia on 30-31 March. The meeting, which was hosted by the Mountaineering Association of Serbia (MAS) and Sport and Tourism Faculty (TIMS), was attended by 1 8 delegates from 12 different countries. ISO Planić, President of Mountaineering Association of Serbia (MAS) welcomed everyone. Below is a summary of the main talking points.


Peter Farkas, Pavlos Georgiades, Steve Long

MountCom elections were held and concluded . It was resolved  that the “Chairman of Training Panel ” would be renamed as the: “President of Training Sub-commission ”.

Results of the Election:

President: Peter Farkas
Vice-President:  Pavlos Georgiades
President of Training Sub-commission: Steve Long

These results will be presented to the UIAA Management Committee in Malta, early May, for final approval.


In response to the developing strategy of the UIAA, the meeting identified a number of new projects to be carried out by MountCom which will sustain and enhance its value within and beyond the UIAA.

The following projects were discussed and confirmed:

  • ISO Certification
  • Worldwide Huts “Airbnb”
  • Reference and produce video for social media
  • Accident statistics
  • MountCom Facebook & Instagram
  • Importance of New Routes & style
  • Standard for Trad Festivals


In the first part of the meeting, MountCom learned that organizations and tour companies are  providing adventure activities like mountaineering and climbing all over the world.  These  companies have created a European Association and have started to create ISO  certification on adventure tour activities with their own criteria and standards.

Pavlos Gerogiades said that the status of UIAA and National Associations are threatened by these organizations/companies and we need to get ahead of this and proposed that the UIAA should strengthen its brand. It was suggested that the UIAA and National Associations could develop and publish a proper procedure and standards by obtaining ISO certification.  Anastasakis Panagiotis from PRIORITY (a Greek company) presented a proposal for ISO certification at the pre-meeting session. 

There will be no cost for UIAA and the National Associations for the ISO certification on adventure tour activities, whilst there will be a small cost for the clubs only.

MountCom decided to proceed with this proposal and a working group was formed with members Pavlos Georgiades, Ron Funderburke, Steve Long, Laura Samso and Matjaz Serkenzi.


  • CHKMCU (Hong Kong) applied for Training Accreditation on hiking. Accreditation inspection will be arranged in October 2019.
  • Application for validation from JMSCA (Japan) was received.
  • Revalidate FEDME (Spain) with the existing qualification was confirmed.
  • MNCF (Mongolia) has applied for Petzl Foundation assistance for a 3 years training project in Mongolia.
  • Validation inspection for MMSF (FYR Macedonia) by Matjaz Serkezi was done. Accreditation will be granted upon receipt of a positive report by Matjaz Serkezi.


  • UIAA Good Practice Mountain Walking Skills “Train-the-Trainer” Course will be held in Hong Kong in May 2019.
  • Pilot Walking skills course in Indonesia was discussed.
  • The Training Panel will launch an online induction programme for approving skills trainers.  It was proposed to provide this package at a low cost to enhance the UIAA brand.  At the same time, extra value will accrue to National Associations.


  • An income of EURO 300 had been generated in the past 12 months by selling the UIAA Alpine Skills Handbook.
  • The Serbian Language version was launched with a selling price set at EURO 10 each. Nenad Dikić and Katarina Manovski briefly introduced the new book and the overall situation in Serbia at the meeting.
  • Other ongoing translation work included : Mongolian, French and Winter Skills version


Steve Long demonstrated the current version of the database at the meeting.  It can now handle memberships and registration of courses online.  Statistics on different aspects can be found in the database. The system can also handle online learning and assessment. It should be remembered that PADI has developed an e-learning theory and test package for divers, which provides content for all its franchises worldwide.


There is a need to develop materials for skills courses, Steve Long suggested that that MountCom set up groups with regular catch-up by Skype.  

“UIAA Training Spring 2019” presentation was given by Steve Long who identified the following issues:

  • What is a qualification for mountaineering activities?
  • Governance
  • Quality Assurance
  • Technical Competence
  • What are the qualification labels?
  • Why do you invest in accreditation and skills training?
  • Cross-accreditation: Recognizing other countries’ accredited qualifications


Rafael Jensen from Sweden gave a presentation on the “Importance of New Routes & style”.  This covered the subjects of improvement of style, first ascent / new route, commercial expeditions / guided tours, improvement in “time cutting” etc.  MountCom members found this an interesting idea.  The meeting proposed that we set up a platform for National Associations to upload and share relevant information. 


A Presentation on “Mountain Risk Perception affected by Culture and Climate” was given by Chiaki Aoyama (Japan).  MountCom members considered this to be a valuable topic and proposed to link/upload on UIAA website.  Chiaki together with Peter Farkas and Mike Galbraith will team up for preparing a more comprehensive presentation with different chapters on different topics.

With special thanks to Mountaineering Association of Serbia (MAS) and Sport and Tourism Faculty (TIMS) for hosting this meeting.

Report by UIAA Mountaineering Commission

Further Reading:
UIAA & Mountaineering
UIAA & Training