The UIAA is a partner with the International Mountain Summit, a multi-faceted event that brings together some of the greatest climbers the world has ever known.
The IMS, taking place this year from October 30 to November 7 in the South Tyrol town of Brixen/Bressanone, includes talks with such renowned mountaineers as Reinhold Messner, Kurt Diemberger and blind climber Andy Holzer.
The IMS Congress will tackle issues such as risk taking and rescues, climbing ethics and women in mountaineering. The congress is divided into five themes: “Mountains and Culture”, “Mountains and Safety”, “Mountains and People” and “Mountains and Organizations”
But the IMS is more than a talk shop and this is what makes it unique. It also includes walks with some of the top participating climbers, a boulder workshop and competition as well as mountain film screenings.
UIAA spoke to one of the IMS founders, Alex Ploner, about the IMS and its partnership with the UIAA.
UIAA: What is the main aim of the IMS?
Alex Ploner: The goal of the International Mountain Summit is to be a platform for everyone who is in involved with the mountains in some way. It’s an open platform, not connected to any party or with commitments to any association or federation. It’s an open competition for ideas. New ways forward should be considered, existing state of affairs debated and even crazy approaches assessed so that mountain environments as habitats and as places to visit are preserved for all living things. IMS highlights and presents mountains in all of their facets.
UIAA: Why is it important for the IMS to be recognised by the UIAA?
Alex Ploner: As the international federation, the UIAA has a long tradition and a lot of experience. It’s important for us – a young company and a new platform – to have access to the UIAA network, and to be seen as part of it. We’re convinced that only through cooperation can we address the concerns of everyone in the mountains, and to discuss and resolve problems together.
UIAA: Why do you think the world’s mountaineering community needs to be united by an international federation like the UIAA?
Alex Ploner: People living in the mountains, or who live for the mountains, or are travelling in the mountains are exposed to similar problems. Their expectations and fears are often the same, no matter where they come from. Organisations and platforms are required to bring people together to discuss these issues. We must become better acquainted with one another and talk about our fears, problems but mainly look for solutions. Mountain issues must become much more present in people’s minds, so that we can also understand ourselves better.