Youngsters enjoy first climbing camp of 2023


The UIAA Youth Commission, in collaboration with UIAA member federations, is targeting organising up to ten youth camps in 2023. These will take place in both the summer and winter and dedicated to a range of activities from ice climbing to canyoning and from mountaineering to rock climbing.

The first camp in the year was held in Guillestre, Hautes-Alpes from 19-25 February. As is tradition, the annual camp focused on teaching youngsters ice climbing techniques. Approximately 70 youngsters attended and below is some of their feedback.

Registration is now open for the next camps, a climbing camp in Ariege, France in July and a Mountaineering camp in Romania to start at the end of August.

What the participants said about the camp in Guillestre:

I spent great days, with amazing people and learning a lot. I came without almost no knowledge about ice climbing, and now I see myself enough confident to go in my own with more autonomy. Also, always taking care of the safety. This camp has led to learn many forms of ice climbing, one pitch, many pitches and dry tooling in a great place as it is Hautes Alps. It has helped me to meet more people who have a love for climbing and mountaineering. All the staff were greatly qualified, with good abilities to teach and share their  knowledge. Everybody has been thoughtful, kind, and helpful at all times.

The international atmosphere also was amazing – as there were people from France, Romania, Spain, Croatia you had the opportunity to learn about different cultures and learn to cooperate in the international team, as well as make new friends for future adventures. We all lived in the same camp, so in the evenings, as everyone returned from their day climb, we were able to share our experiences from different places.

It  was really nice that at the beginning of the camp we got reminded of basics – how to tie in, how to belay, etc. as well as some ice climbing stuff – how to hold ice-axe, how to choose where and how to strike the ice, how to put ice screw – which was really nice as it allowed to get up to speed and feel comfortable during all the camp. Then following days we got assigned a place to go, with new routes to try out, based on our performances during previous days. The conditions each day were different – from wet to hard ice, from sun to snow, and we had to adapt each day. And it is crazy how much we managed to improve during the camp – from never touching the ice, to top-roping vertical 50 meter pitches.

Thank you once again for organising and inviting us to the camp, I would recommend it to Ice climbing beginners in my Alpine club…

Summarizing it all, the camp exceeded my expectations by far! It was very obvious that the organizers knew what they were doing and nothing was at random. I really look forward to other camps organized by these people because I will know from the very beginning that it will all be awesome!

All images courtesy of Christian Biard