Youth Report: 2018 UIAA Ice climbing camp in Guillestre


The first UIAA Global Youth Summit Event of 2018 was held in Guillestre, Hautes-Alpes, France from 18-24 February. It took the form of an ice climbing camp.

The following report is courtesy of UIAA Youth Commission member and event organiser Christian Biard (FFCAM) and translated by Pierre Hullin.

Many different teams were present, a good illustration of the Fédération française des clubs alpins et de montagne (FFCAM) involvement towards the young and towards ice climbing activities:

  • Ice Climbing Instructor Boot Camp (coached by Charles Noirot, a certified mountain guide) – This training is to certify instructors to clubs, both for the youth and adult groups.
  • Camp for the young of the Adventure School from CAF Toulouse.
  • Camp for the young of the CD 65 club. This programme is aimed at youngsters from small clubs federated into one and unified regional structure, to discover ice climbing activities.
  • Camp for both “Espoir Alpi Jeune Occitanie” groups (Young Hopefuls of the Occitania Region). Some of them even graduated as an Ice Climbing Instructor. This camp is in direct continuity of the Adventure Schools from CAF, for those young who wish to specifically go mountaineering. This camp was coached by Christophe Moulin, a CTN Alpinism FFCAM mountain guide.
  • Camp specifically open to the UIAA programme:

– This camp welcomed an Iranian team of eight, three from Spain and one from India and South Africa. This shows the FFCAM involvement towards the practice of Ice Climbing by young people around the world.

The weather and ice conditions were excellent throughout the whole week, which enabled all the participants to improve and progress significantly.

During this training camp, we explained:

  • how to use different sorts of equipment (ice screw, crampons, ice axe),
  • how to climb safely on ice, over several pitches; how to set up a safe belay, and how to go down through multiple absails,
  • how to judge the ice and its quality,
  • how to climb in “dry tooling” (first approach),
  • and how to manage an Ice Training Class for inexperienced climbers.

Moreover, 13 French participants (including six youngsters) were certified as Ice Climbing Instructors. A number of young foreigners (four from Iran, two from Spain and one from South Africa) reached the level of instructor.

Many different beautiful lines were climbed, in Ceillac (where over 40 camp members climbed “Formes du Chaos”, a mythical route of this spot), in Crévoux, in Les Orres (Dancing Fall), in the Freissinnières valley (where the Young Hopefuls made it successfully on “Au-delà des Ombres” in Gramusat, a route opened by Christophe Moulin in 1991). Some discovered the Pelouse spot.

And of course, all went through the essential technical practice in the Pelvoux and in the Aiguilles training spots.

2019 camps will take place from 3-9 March. Details will be available in due course.

To discover more about the UIAA Global Youth Series, and how to get involved, please visit:

Photos from the event can be viewed and downloaded from the UIAA Flickr Channel.