UIAA Newsletter_5 July 2018: Preservation of Natural Rock, style=’font-size:11.5pt;font-family:”Georgia”,serif;color:black’>2018 UIAA Rock Climbing Festival Award, and More

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The UIAA newsletter.
5 July 2018
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The UIAA Newsletter. 5 July 2018

In Brief

The 2018 UIAA Respect the Mountains Series commences this weekend with two events taking place in Italy. The application process for the UIAA’s other annual core project in sustainability – the Mountain Protection Award – closed on 30 June with over 20 project submissions received from 17 countries. At both the 2018 Sustainable Summits Conference and Outdoor2018, the UIAA played a key role in discussions related to the future of the mountains. UIAA member federations, delegates and partners are informed that the Calling Notice for the 2018 UIAA General Assembly was published on 30 June. Registration opens next week.

Next Newsletter – Week of 23 July.
Key topics: 2018 UIAA Rock Climbing Festival Award, UIAA Safety Standards

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NATURAL ROCK FOR ADVENTURE CLIMBING:
FRESH CONCERNSAs part of its commitment to raising awareness about the importance of preserving natural rock and to reducing indiscriminate bolting, the UIAA is sharing an article from Norwegian climber Robert Caspersen concerning an expedition made in late 2017 with three friends to climb the high east face of Gessnertind (3020m) in Antarctica.

The article was brought to the UIAA’s attention by former UIAA Management Committee member and legendary mountaineer Doug Scott, who spearheaded the UIAA’s seminal paper on ‘UIAA Recommendations on the Preservation of Natural Rock for Adventure Climbing’ in 2014. The paper evaluated the history and appeal of different forms of rock climbing, and considered earlier attitudes to fixed gear. It also considered how the case for adventure climbing can be re-stated more effectively and offered guidance to UIAA member federations in developing countries on how to sustain the balance between sport and adventure climbing

“Thearticle written by Robert Caspersen is exceptionally inspiring and cannot fail, I am sure, to move people towards at least thinking of restricting the use of the bolt,” explains Scott. Full Story.

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LAUNCH:
2019 UIAA ICE CLIMBING WORLD TOUR CALENDARThe UIAA is delighted to confirm the calendar for the 2019 Ice Climbing World Tour. Comprising a comprehensive and impressive programme of events, the 2019 calendar is the biggest to date and includes six World Cup events, four European Cups, a World Championships, a World Combined Championships and a World Youth Championships. The World Tour will visit ten different countries on three continents and features two events taking place in major cities – Moscow and Denver. Full story.

Athletes, officials and member federations are informed that the Competition Regulations for the 2019 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour are also available. Full story.

LATEST NEWS FROM
UIAA MEMBER FEDERATIONS & PARTNERSShare your news with the UIAA by emailing news

ALPINE CLUB OF CANADA
Mountain Science, Climate Change & Education
2018 State of the Mountains Report

ALPINE CLUB OF PAKISTAN
The Alpine Club of Pakistan have confirmed Mr. Abu Zafar Sadiq as President and Mr.Karar Haidri as Secretary

AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB
Lending Climbers A Stronger Voice

ASIAN ALPINE ASSOCIATES
Latest newsletter now available

BRITISH MOUNTAINEERING COUNCIL
Lynn Robinson becomes the BMC’s first-ever female president.

DEUTSCHER ALPENVEREIN, DAV
Climbing Safety Video Series Now Available

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2018 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD:
APPLICATION CLOSESThe UIAA Mountain Protection Commission confirms that as of 30 June, the application process for the 2018 UIAA Mountain Protection Award is now closed. The sixth edition of the Award has welcomed over 20 applicants from some 17 countries. The Award Assessment Team are currently reviewing all applications. Projects accepted for the 2018 Award will be contacted in due course. Showcased projects will be uploaded to the UIAA website during the month of July. The winning project will be announced at the 2018 UIAA General Assembly held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 6 October. Full story.
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UIAA SHAPING DISCUSSIONS
AT SUSTAINABLE SUMMITS AND OUTDOOR 2018 Two major international gatherings for the outdoor community took place in June 2018 with the UIAA represented, and leading discussions, at both events. First, the biennial Sustainable Summits Conference took place in Chamonix, France from 12-14 June where the three-day discussions focused on the future for the world’s high mountains. A week after the Sustainable Summits conference, the UIAA was represented at OutDoor, the world’s leading trade fair in the industry which took place in Friedrichshafen, Germany from 17-20 June. Full story.
RECENT ARTICLES

A reminder of some other recent articles published by the UIAA:

SAFETY:
Safety Standards / Support UIAA SafeCom Research:
Submit Examples of Climbing Anchor Corrosion

Safety Label Holder / Skylotec precautionary call for inspection check of Via Ferrata sets
MedCom / Medical Advice for Women Going to Altitude

SKILLS:
Alpine Series / What Weakens A Rope?
Alpine Series / Gear: Single & multi pitch check list

SUSTAINABILITY:
RTM / 2018 UIAA Respect the Mountains Series: Dates Announced

IN MEMORY

The UIAA is sad to hear about the recent passing of two pioneering figures in the world of climbing and mountaineering. Suk-Ha Hong, who died on 29 May, was an influential presence in Korean mountaineering. Among his legacies are the creation of Man and Mountain magazine and his role in the foundation of Asia’s Piolets d’Or. Suk-Ha Hong was awarded “Order of Civil Merit” by the Korean Government in 2008 for his devotion to mountaineering culture.

On 20 June, elite ice climber and French guide Stéphane Husson was involved in an accident in the Alps and died in hospital the following day. A 16-year old climber was killed in the same accident. Husson played a pivotal role in the development of competition ice climbing in France. Further details.

UPCOMING EVENTS
8 July
RESPECT THE MOUNTAINS
Passo della Focolaccia, Italy
8 July
RESPECT THE MOUNTAINS
Molise, Italy
22 July
RESPECT THE MOUNTAINS
Snowdonia National Park, Wales
23-30 July
UIAA YOUTH MOUNTAINEERING SCHOOL
Mount Kazbek, Georgia
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The UIAA was founded in 1932 and represents over 90 member associations in 68 countries. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

UIAA OFFICE
c/o Schweizer Alpen-Club SAC
Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000
Bern 14, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828news

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February 2018 UIAA Newsletter, Please Subscriber to keep current in the Mountains!

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The UIAA newsletter. February 2018
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The UIAA Newsletter. February 2018.

In Brief

The UIAA Alpine Summer Skills guide is now available worldwide as a digital download. In the field of mountain safety, the UIAA and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) publish recommendations related to The Chadar Trek. The use of portable hyperbaric chambers is the subject of the UIAA’s latest medical advice profile. In Asia, the reputation of the UIAA Safety Label continues to develop in an rapidly expanding market. The 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing season concludes this weekend in Kirov, Russia following a busy season of World and European Cup events. Newsletter subscribers have the opportunity to enter a competition to win a signed copy of Doug Scott’s latest book – The Ogre. The most recent member association to join the UIAA – Malta Climbing Club – comes under the spotlight. The 2018 UIAA Mountain Protection Award opens in late March coinciding with a special ceremony to commemorate 2017 winner Mount Everest Biogas Project (MEBP).

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ALPINE SUMMER SKILLS GUIDE
AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE AS DIGITAL DOWNLOADThe UIAA Alpine Skills Summer guide was first published in 2015. Produced in collaboration with the Petzl Foundation, the guide and has been well received worldwide and is currently available in five languages. To mark the launch of a digital version of the publication, the UIAA is running a series of articles from the guide designed to help hikers, climbers and mountaineers develop their skills and knowledge of the mountain environment.

The guide was developed specifically as a reference document for trip leaders and instructors of club and federations within the UIAA – an aide memoire for climbers and mountaineers who attend training courses delivered by instructors and guides who have gained qualifications accredited by the UIAA. Now open to the wider climbing and mountaineering world, the handbook’s four modules focus primarily on summer activities. Full story here

The digital edition of Alpine Skills: Summer, a downloadable application which permits free updates to content, can be purchased here.

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2018 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD
APPLICATION OPENS ON 24 MARCHApplication for the 2018 UIAA Mountain Protection Award will open immediately after a special presentation is held in Kathmandu, Nepal for Mount Everest Biogas Project (MEBP) winner of the 2017 Award. A dedicated press conference will also be held in Nepal to showcase the Award and will feature representatives from the MEBP and the 2015 winner KTK-BELT Studio. The press conference coincides with the UIAA Management Committee meeting, held from 23-24 March. Details on the press conference, and how to apply for the 2018 Award, will be available shortly.
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UIAA ICE CLIMBING WORLD TOUR

SEASON FINALE

An enthralling 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour, partnered by The North Face Korea, concludes in Kirov, Russia this weekend with the final act of a dramatic season. The quest to be World Tour champion across both the male and female lead and speed competitions is still wide open. A preview of the season finale will be available to our ice climbing news subscribers tomorrow. Livestreaming will be available on the UIAA Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels, on the Olympic Channel, and on partner channel EXTREME. To subscribe to ice climbing news please click here.

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PHOTO STORY

An inspirational image of UIAA Honorary Member Jordi Pons Sanginés, 85 years old, ice climbing on Pedraforca (2,506m) in the Pyrenees. The area is a noted paradise for rock climbing, with limestone walls up to 800m high. In the winter several ice falls form, making this spot – some 150 km from Barcelona – a perfect location for ice climbing training.Full picture on our Facebook page.

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THE CHADAR TREK:
ESSENTIAL SAFETY ADVICEIncreasingly popular as a trekking destination among both Indian and international adventurers and tourists, the Chadar Trek, an ice passage across a fast flowing river in the Zanskar region of Ladakh, is also a route which presents a number of safety concerns.

With the aim of providing anyone planning on crossing this magnificent ‘ice highway’ with greater safety information, the UIAA Training Panel, with the support of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), has provided the following information related to the prevention of accidents and dealing with unforeseen situations. This advice is also available on the IMF website. Full story here.

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MALTA
AT THE CROSSROADS OF THE MEDITERRANEANAt the 2017 UIAA General Assembly, the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation welcomed its latest member. With the election of the Malta Climbing Club (MCC) as full member, the UIAA now represents 91 member associations from 68 countries.

The MCC was set up in 2010, a time when in Malta there was no truly representative climbing organisation. “It was felt that the sport needed a structure which in addition to promoting the sport locally, would also work towards providing local climbers with the support and services that climbers now often take for granted in their own countries all over the world,” explains the federation’s President Simon Alden. Full story here.

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MORE FROM THE UIAA NEWSROOM

At a series of meetings and tradeshows in China, the UIAA Safety team discuss the promotion and development of the UIAA Safety Label and Standards in Asia. A guide on when, and how, to use portable hyperbaric chambers is the topic of the latest UIAA MedCom article. Rock Climbing Festival organisers from Central and South America are invited to apply for the 2018 UIAA Rock Climbing Awards, with cash prizes of up to 5,000 CHF on offer. Registration for UIAA Youth Events in Fontainebleau, France and Iran is open.

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UPCOMING EVENTS
2-4 March
ICE CLIMBING – WORLD CUP
Kirov, Russia
23-24 March
UIAA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Kathmandu, Nepal
23-24 March
UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD PRESS CONFERENCE
Kathmandu, Nepal
The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 91 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

UIAA OFFICE
c/o Schweizer Alpen-Club SAC
Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000
Bern 14, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828news

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2018 UIAA Newsletter

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The UIAA newsletter. January 2018
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The UIAA Newsletter. January 2018.

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Welcome to the first UIAA monthly newsletter of 2018

Recent international trade shows have provided the UIAA with the opportunity to discuss important mountain safety and sustainability topics with the outdoor community. The calendar of Global Youth Events is taking shape. The Series provides opportunities for young climbers from across the world to meet and develop their skills. Eye issues in expeditions is the focus of this month’s UIAA MedCom advice article while the insight of an experienced mountain rescuer features as the latest entry in our Passion for the Mountains series. From the UIAA archives, we explore the creation of the list of 3,000m Pyrenees peaks. UIAA-supported charity Climbers Against Cancer make a significant donation during the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup event in Saas-Fee while recent changes in the UIAA Court come under the spotlight. Record audiences tune in for the start of the 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing season.

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DEALING WITH EYE PROBLEMS IN EXPEDITIONS
LATEST UIAA MEDCOM ARTICLEVisual loss in the wilderness setting is potentially fatal. Firstly it may be a warning sign of a serious systemic problem and secondly the patient may lose their functional independence and ability to respond to objective danger. The issues discussed in the UIAA MedCom paper #20, Eye Problems in Expeditions (available in English, Czech, German, Italian, Japanese and Persian) fall broadly into two categories, those that are unique to the high altitude setting and those that could happen anywhere but require treatment to protect vision when standard ophthalmological care is unavailable. Full story here
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UIAA ICE CLIMBING WORLD TOUR
FOLLOW THE LATEST NEWSThe 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing season is well underway with two World Cup events, a World Youth Championships and three European Cups having already taken place. The Series heads to Asia over the next two weekends with World Cup competitions in Hohhot (China) and Cheongsong (South Korea). This latter event will provide the UIAA with the opportunity to showcase the sport in the host country of the upcoming Olympic Winter Games. Record audiences have tuned in to watch the first two World Cup events through the UIAA’s livestreaming platforms and on the Olympic Channel and EXTREME. To subscribe to ice climbing-related news please click here.
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UIAA COURT
AT THE SERVICE OF UIAA MEMBERSDuring the 2017 UIAA General Assembly, a new era was heralded for the UIAA Court. Pierre Humblet, already a Court member, succeeded Bettina Geisseler as Court President and was joined by three new elected delegates in Denis Poncelin, Franz Stämpfli and Marco del Zotto. The UIAA Court representatives all have a strong professional background in various aspects of law and of the mountaineering world.Full story here
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CLIMBERS AGAINST CANCER
DONATION TO SWISS CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATIONOn 20 January, representatives of the UIAA were honoured to organise a special ceremony ahead of the Lead Finals at the 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. During the ceremony, the Swiss Cancer Research Foundation were presented with a donation of £25,000 by Climbers Against Cancer (CAC). CAC was created by the late John Ellison. Full story here
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PASSION FOR THE MOUNTAINS
PERSPECTIVE OF A MOUNTAIN RESCURERJason Williams’ skills and experience cover a wide range of mountain rescue sectors. He is a nationally-registered paramedic and obtained his Mountain Emergency Medicine and Rescue Diploma under the shadow of the Matterhorn in the Alpine Rescue Centre, Zermatt. Today, he is Director of the International Mountain Medicine Center at the University of New Mexico where he oversees all Austere, Wilderness, and Mountain Medicine programmes. He has rock climbed all over the world but admits nothing beats ‘being perched on a granite cliff face in my hometown’s local Sandia mountains with my life-long climbing partner/wife.’ Here is Jason’s story. Full story here.
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WATCH:
2017 UIAA CLIMBING FILM OF THE YEARThe UIAA has awarded a Best Climbing Film prize at the Trento Film Festival for the past three years. The most recent winner – a 12-minute documentary featured the 2016 expedition to the Himalayas of Nepal led by David Lama together with Austrian alpinists Hansjörg Auer and Alex Blümel. The film charts the team in their feelings of fatigue, anxiety, exposure and ordeal during their five weeks attempting one of the world’s greatest, unsolved puzzles of alpinism: The unclimbed south-east ridge of Annapurna III (at 7,555m, the 42nd highest mountain in the world). The film is available to view by clicking above.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES:
EXPLORING THE 3,000M PYRENEES PEAKSThroughout its near 86 years of history, the UIAA has led a number of pioneering achievements in the world of climbing and mountaineering. From the creation of its Safety Label and Safety Standards in the 1960s through several groundbreaking ethical declarations over the course of the following decades, its international standards for rock climbing grades and role at the forefront of mountain protection, the UIAA has always worked with the interest of mountaineers and the mountain environment at its core. In celebrating the heritage of the UIAA, this Series takes us through the UIAA archives to share some of the stories from the federation’s history. This first abridged article is dedicated to the publication of the Official List of UIAA 3,000m peaks of the Pyrenees in December 1995. It was first published in UIAA Bulletin 152. Full story here.
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MORE FROM THE UIAA NEWSROOM

Mountain safety and sustainability were among the topics covered at recent ISPO Trade Shows in Beijing and Munich. A full report will be available in the coming days. UIAA Safety Commission President Amit Chowdhury also addressed the subject of the UIAA Safety Label at a recent conference in New Delhi. At the close of 2017, the winners of the 12th edition of Asia’s Piolets d’Or were announced.

As revealed in a dedicated International Mountain Day communication, the UIAA and IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations) formalised their willingness to collaborate by signing a Memorandum of Understanding to exhibit their commitment to collaborating on environmental matters, such as the development and review of environmental and sustainability guidelines and events to address waste and pollution management in mountaineering. To mark International Mountain Day, the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) opened up free access to its 110-year archive of the Canadian Alpine Journal.

The UIAA Youth Commission has developed the calendar of 2018 Global Youth Series events with meets in France, Italy and Iran already confirmed. Registration details can be found here.

Centro Cultural de Montaña, one of the nominated projects in the 2016 UIAA Mountain Protection Award shares a progress report from Peru. At the end of January, the world of climbing and mountaineering paid tribute to Elizabeth Hawley.

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UPCOMING EVENTS
2-4 February
ICE CLIMBING – WORLD CUP
Hohhot, China
9-11 February
ICE CLIMBING – WORLD CUP
Cheongsong, South Korea
24-25 February
ICE CLIMBING – EUROPEAN CUP
Oulu, Finland
23-24 March
UIAA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Kathmandu, Nepal
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The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 91 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

UIAA OFFICE
c/o Schweizer Alpen-Club SAC
Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000
Bern 14, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828news

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UIAA Newsletter_December 2017

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The UIAA newsletter. December 2017
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The UIAA. Newsletter. December 2017.
Welcome to the latest UIAA newsletter.

During the month of November, the UIAA played a leading role in mountain sustainability discussions at both the International Federation Forum in Lausanne and in Bonn during the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – COP23. Ahead of 11 December’s International Mountain Day (IMD) titled ‘Mountains under Pressure: climate, hunger, migration’, the UIAA invites its member federations to share news of their IMD activities with news. The UIAA Ice Climbing season starts this weekend as the countdown to January’s World Cup series gains momentum. Meanwhile, application for the 2018 UIAA Rock Climbing awards is open and the UIAA MedCom shares advice for gap year and charity-event travellers.
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INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FORUM
UIAA’S INTEGRAL ROLE IN SUSTAINABILITY DISCUSSIONSOn 9 November, the UIAA took part in a panel discussion at Sport Accord’s International Federation Forum (IF) in Lausanne, Switzerland discussing the relationship between sport and biodiversity and the role of the sporting community. The theme of the three day conference was the International Federations’ Impact In Leading The Way To Towards A Sustainability Agenda. The IF Forum programme is a collaboration between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Global Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF), the Association of Summer International Federations (ASOIF), the Association of Winter Olympic Federations (AIOWF),the Association of the IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF), AIMS (Alliance of Independent Members of SportAccord) and Associate Members. Full story here
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2018 UIAA ROCK CLIMBING FESTIVAL AWARD
APPLICATION OPEN

The international rock climbing community is informed that application for the 2018 UAA Rock Climbing Festival Award is now open. The annual Award was created in 2015 and is granted to the festival which best demonstrates a commitment to safety, sustainability and the development of rock climbing as a sport. The chosen festival is selected from a shortlist of applicants and chosen by the UIAA Rock Climbing Working Group. To date, Award winners have come from Africa (South Africa, 2015), Europe (Greece, 2016) and North America (USA, 2017). Please note, for 2018 the UIAA is inviting applications from festivals held in South America. Full story here.

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FEDME’S MOUNTAIN SAFETY COMMITMENT
SPANISH FEDERATION MAKING IMPRESSIVE STRIDESOver last few years, FEDME (Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada), a full UIAA member, has reinforced its commitment to mountain safety, introducing a number of innovative and extensive measures to expand knowledge and consciousness about mountain safety on national level. One of their recent successes saw the publication of a detailed report about tests carried out on anchors in the marine environment. Here is their story.Full story here.
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In collaboration with Mountain Partnership, the UIAA took part in a side event discussion during COP23, titled “Implementing the 2030 Agenda & Paris Agreement in mountains: building a Framework for Action” during COP23. A video replay of the side panel discussion is embedded (starting at 7:15.00)

Organized by Mountain Partnership, the Government of Kyrgyzstan and the UIAA, the panel explored common challenges and solutions for addressing climate change impacts in mountains during the event, supporting concrete actions, putting in place long-lasting processes and establishing policies that strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments. The UIAA was represented by Mountain Protection Commission delegate Joop Spijker (NKBC, Netherlands). He addressed the subject of mountaineering and climate change. UIAA Honorary Member Ang Tshering Sherpa (NMA, Nepal) also took part introducing ‘Community Experience of the Climate Change in the Himalayas and Solutions’.

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2018 UIAA ICE CLIMBING SEASON
IMPORTANT UPDATES

The first event of the new UIAA Ice Climbing season starts this weekend in Domzale (Slovenia), a perfect opportunity for young athletes to develop their skills and senior campaigners to prepare for the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour in January.

The following links provide useful information about the 2018 season.
Latest Updates – including final calendar
A guide to the European Cups
Athletes’ Handbook
Rules & Regulations
UIAA & Ice Climbing

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HOW TO CHECK THE QUALITY OF A COMMERCIALLY ORGANISED TREK OR EXPEDITION
LATEST UIAA MEDCOM ADVICE

This, the sixth article in the UIAA’s series dedicated to high-altitude medical advice, has a very clear target audience, principally trekking or expedition company operators and their potential clients, notably those on gap years, round the world tickets or taking part in charity events.

As the number of mountaineers who are joining organised treks or expeditions continues to increase, so does the incidence of altitude-related diseases. Technically simple high altitude treks and peaks with easy access such as Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, or the Everest trek (with fly-in to Lukla) are still potentially dangerous because of the rapid ascent profile undertaken by many trekkers and/or offered by numerous trekking companies. Full story here.

FROM THE UIAA NEWSROOM

Following on from October’s UIAA General Assembly, the UIAA Access Commission led a mountain workshop in Tehran. Angelika Rainer, one of the stars of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour recently made history. Hohhot is confirmed as the venue for the Chinese leg of the 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. Registration for two 2018 UIAA youth camps in France – part of the Global Youth Summit series – is now open.

UPCOMING EVENTS
2 December
ICE CLIMBING – EUROPEAN CUP
Domzale, Slovenia
9 December
ICE CLIMBING – EUROPEAN CUP
Bratislava, Slovakia
11 December
INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY
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The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 92 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

You received this message as a subscriber to the UIAA monthly newsletter.

UIAA OFFICE
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Mount Everest Biogas Project wins UIAA Mountain Protection Award

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UIAA News Release.
22, October 2017
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UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD WINNER
MOUNT EVEREST BIOGAS PROJECT

HEALING THE HUMAN IMPACT ON EVEREST

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Mount Everest Biogas Project was announced as the overall winner of the 2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award during the UIAA General Assembly in Shiraz on Saturday 21 October.

The United States-based project is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that has designed an environmentally sustainable solution to the impact of human waste on Mt. Everest and other high altitude locations. The Mount Everest Biogas Project (MEBP) is the fifth winner of the annual Award joining projects from Ethiopia, Tajikistan, Nepal and France.

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“The Mount Everest Biogas Project is a deserving winner of the Award,” explained UIAA Mountain Protection Commission President Dr Carolina Adler. “Waste in the mountains is a real problem that calls for implementation of solutions to address and test it under often very challenging environmental and social conditions.”

Stephen Goodwin, member of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, a vice-president of the Alpine Club (UK), and one of the Award assessors, added: “The Mount Everest Biogas Project project perfectly meets the aims of our Commission in that it is clearing up the waste of mountaineers and trekkers in an iconic location. There are multiple benefits for the “downstream” Sherpa population (notably less polluted water) and providing the project proves a success this technology can be applied to other high altitude mountain locations where climbers and/or trekkers have created a waste disposal problem.”

For the Award winners themselves, this is recognition for seven years of intense work and development towards helping resolve the major issue of ‘what to do with human waste in an extreme environment’. Garry Porter, one of the project’s co-founders, explains the potential benefits of winning the Award: “The Mountain Protection Award is a huge morale boost to our volunteer team members because it acknowledges their efforts in addressing a solution to the issue of human waste in mountains. The prestige of an endorsement by the UIAA will provide a major boost to our fundraising effort.”

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Video: Garry Porter, Mount Everest Biogas Project on winning the Award

MEBP: PROJECT BACKGROUND

Mt. Everest boasts a massive climbing industry, with hundreds of climbers making the trip up the Khumbu Valley each year. This tourism, which has led to significant financial gain for the Nepalese, has also left a trail of human waste that has given way to environmental and public health concerns.

MEBP proposes to use an anaerobic biogas digester to treat the human waste, and outlines the project management solution to do so. The biogas digester will eliminate dumping of solid human waste at Gorak Shep and destroy pathogenic fecal coliforms that threaten the health of the local communities – lessening the impact of the tourism industry on a mountain that is sacred to the Nepalese. Initiated in 2010 in affiliation with Engineers without Borders and Architects without Borders, the MEBP system technology has been designed and tested and the team has brought the project to construction-ready. Groundbreaking is planned for spring 2018 and an operational date slated for winter 2019.

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“We have strong support from the Nepalese organizations along with the Gorak Shep tea house owners,” adds Porter in relation to the project’s next steps. “Our engineering and architectural design is sound: and we have high confidence in it. It is now time to put theory to test.”

Each year, thousands of climbers and support staff populate Everest Base Camp for several months during the climbing seasons, producing approximately 12,000 kg of solid human waste. In 1991, the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (“SPCC”), was created with the responsibility for protecting the environment of Mt. Everest. Since then, SPCC has developed waste management strategies for the removal and disposal of human trash. However, there has been no viable solution of how to deal with human waste. The current practice is to pack it down to the nearest teahouse village of Gorak Shep from base camp in barrels and dump the waste into open pits, just above the flow of the Khumbu Glacier that feeds the lower valley. The untreated waste in these unlined pits poses a danger both to the environment and to the public health of the Sherpa people who live in the region.

The Mt. Everest Biogas Project will address this environmental and health hazard in a sustainable manner and serve as a model for other regions that must deal with similar waste problems at high-altitude, regardless if it is caused by climbers or local communities. When implemented, MEBP will: eliminate the dumping of solid human waste at the teahouse village of Gorak Shep; reduce reliance on burning wood or yak dung for heating and the resultant respiratory and ocular health risks; reduce deforestation of the areas limited wood resources; and reduce risk of water contamination by fecal coliform. The system will convert waste into methane, a renewable natural gas, and a reduced pathogen effluent.

With funds raised through the MEBP, this project will build the first operating biogas digester in a cold climate. Once the biogas digester is established and running in the Khumbu valley, the design will be made available to the public so that other similar mountain climates in need of a sustainable waste management system can use this design in their own replications.

“The fact that this is an all volunteer design team compounded the challenge,” explains Porter. “Everyone on the team believes that they can make a difference, but they all have a “real life”: a demanding job, family and friends and a life outside of work. My previous experience in program management did not prepare me for the necessity of nudging, coaxing and sometimes pleading to keep the project moving forward. And yet, some of these same volunteers have spent seven years on the project. We could not have done it without their time and talent.”

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This human element of teamwork and commitment has been crucial to the project’s success and Porter’s advice for aspiring projects is to: “Find the best people who truly believe in what you are doing and never ever give up. Provide the vision of what you want to achieve and let the team members use their talents to achieve it. There will be many obstacles along the way, but the people you meet will all share the same vision. The mountains with which our planet has been blessed must be protected and preserved.”

Further details on the MEBP can be found both on the dedicated nominee page and on the official project website.

The UIAA thanks the MP Award and Assessment Team for their commitment and expertise throughout the course of the 2017 Award.

Application for the 2018 UIAA Mountain Protection Award opens in March 2018.

* All images and video courtesy Mount Everest Biogas Project

22 NOMINEES: 2017 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD

Argentina: Mujer Montaña
Mountains for Life; Cordillera Blanca, Our Ecological Footprint

Argentina: Project Aconcagua
Implementation of human waste disposal measures at base and high altitude camps

Austria: Alpine Pearls
Supporting environmentally friendly travel

Azerbaijan: FAIREX
Less In, More Out

Cambodia: Wildlife Alliance
Community-based ecotourism in the Cardamon Mountain Range, Cambodia

Colombia: Fundación Edenes de Colombia
Acceso a paraísos de Colombia (Access to Colombia’s paradises)

Colombia: Project Cordillera
Connecting adventure tourism with high mountain communities and local efforts to protect the environment

Croatia: Zagreb Speleological Union
Clean underground

International: Biosphere Expeditions
Mountain protection worldwide through citizen science and volunteering

Iran: I.R Iran Mountaineering & Sport Climbing Federation
Waste Management, Education Mountaineers and Cultural Affairs in Damavand

Ireland: Help the Hills
Tallaght: ‘Gateway to the Dublin Mountains’

Italy: Fondation Grand Paradis
I.T.E.R – Imaginer Un Transport Efficace et Responsable

Italy: Giroparchi
Discovery journey of the areas of the Gran Paradiso and Mont Avic parks

Italy: Paraloup
La Montagna che Rinasce (The Reborn mountain)

Italy: Rê.V.E. – Grand Paradis
A network of electric vehicles

Italy/Philippines: La Venta Esplorazioni Geografiche
Support for sustainable eco-tourism in Puerto Princesa underground river (Palawan, Philippines)

Latin America: Acceso PanAM
Managing human waste in advance base camps in Patagonia

Lebanon: Mount Zayan
Environmental education and accessible trails for eco-tourists

United Kingdom: Community Action Nepal
Post-earthquake recover programme in Nepalese mountain communities

United States: Clean Climbing on Denali
The removal of all waste

United States: Mount Everest Biogas Project
Environmentally sustainable solution to the impact of human waste on Mount Everest and beyond

United States: Wilderness Rock Climbing Indicators and Climbing Management Implications
Health of the climbing system as a part of wilderness character in National Park Wilderness

Further details: Mountain Protection Award
Contact: mountainprotection

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2017 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD PAST WINNERS

2013 – Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area, Ethiopia
2014 – Pamir Horse Adventure, Tajikistan
2015 – KTK-BELT Studio, Nepal
2016 – Mountain Wilderness, France
2017 – Mount Everest Biogas Project, United States

The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 91 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

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UIAA News Release – Final Calendar 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing season

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2018 UIAA ICE CLIMBING CALENDAR CONFIRMED
From Domžale to KirovPrepare your crampons, sharpen your ice axes and hone your figure 4s. The 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing calendar has now been finalized with competition commencing on 2 December in Domžale, Slovenia and closing three months later with the World Cup finale in Kirov, Russia. Ten different countries will host events with in excess of 400 ice climbers expected to take part in the season.“The new season promises to be bigger than ever with a number of exciting competition formats and a chance for ice climbers to test themselves in a number of challenging international, continental and youth events,” explains Carlos Teixeira, President of the UIAA Ice Climbing Commission.

The pinnacle events are the five World Cup competitions organized as part of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. The iconic dome of Saas Fee hosts the opening event before a leg in another popular European destination, Rabenstein. Back-to-back competitions in Asia will be held in Beijing, home to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games – an event the UIAA is targeting for ice climbing’s entry into the Olympic programme – and in Cheongsong, South Korea shortly before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games start in PyeongChang. Kirov will host the World Cup showdown where the identity of the male and female winner of the World Tour will be announced. The current champions are HeeYong Park (pictured below) and Hannarai Song of South Korea in lead; Vladimir Kartashev and Ekaterina Koshcheeva of Russia in speed.

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The 2018 season, partnered by The North Face Korea, introduces the European Tour with three different events held before the end of January and a final one at the end of February. Non-European athletes are eligible for these competitions which also provide an opportunity for those new to the sport and U16s. The third event of the season in Champagny/Pays des Ecrins will play host to an international combined test event where a new combined lead and speed format will be introduced. Meanwhile, youth athletes will take centrestage in Malbun, Liechtenstein during the annual World Youth Championships.

An Athlete’s Guide will be available shortly together with the 2018 Rules and Regulations. Details on livestreaming, how to follow the events and the UIAA’s production plan will be confirmed in due course.

The full calendar:

2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Saas Fee (Switzerland) – 18-20 January, 2018
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Rabenstein (Italy) – 25-27 January, 2018
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Beijing (China) – 2-4 February, 2018 (dates TBC in coming days)
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Cheongsong (South Korea) – 9-11 February, 2018
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Kirov (Russia) – 2-4 March, 2018

UIAA Continental Championships
Asian Championships, Cheongsong (South Korea) – 9-11 February, 2018**
European Championships, Kirov (Russia) – 2-4 March, 2018**
**Part of World Tour event

2018 XXIII Olympic Winter Games
PyeongChang (South Korea) – 9-25 February

UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships
Malbun (Liechtenstein), 5-7 January

European Tour
European Cup Lead Domžale (Slovenia) – 2 December, 2017
European Cup Bratislava (Slovakia) – 9 December, 2017
**European Cup Champagny/Pays des Ecrins (France) – 11-13 January, 2018
**Please note this event comprises the International Combined Test Event
European Cup Oulu (Finland) – 24-25 February, 2018

To discover more about the UIAA and Ice Climbing please visit:
http://theuiaa.org/ice-climbing

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The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 91 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

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UIAA OFFICE
Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000
Bern 23, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828
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UIAA News Release_Nominees for 2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award

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UIAA News Release.
15, October 2017
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UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD
2017 WINNER ANNOUNCED ON 21 OCTOBER IN SHIRAZ, IRAN

22 GLOBAL PROJECTS IN CONTENTION

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Twenty-two international projects have been nominated for the 2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award. From Croatian caves to the European Alps, Everest to Patagonia and Denali to Damavand, the 2017 Award unites a diverse array of projects across climate change, culture and education, waste management and disposal, conservation of biodiversity and resources and energy consumption.

Taking into account the 2017 edition, the UIAA Mountain Protection Award has now showcased over 80 projects from 37 countries during its five-year history. New countries this year include Colombia, Croatia, Lebanon and the Philippines. The benefits of being part of the Award are not only felt by the winner, recipient of a cash prize and international promotion through the UIAA network, but by all showcased projects. Details about each project are currently being shared through the UIAA’s social media channels and each nominee receives a dedicated UIAA MPA logo as confirmation that their project has been assessed and approved by a UIAA panel of assessors.
f8ecdac8-9c39-45e7-ba9e-1701f1f2cea2.pngBeing part of an international network also enables projects to exchange ideas, best practices and discuss common challenges. The 2017 Award winner will be announced at the UIAA General Assembly in Shiraz, Iran on Saturday 21 October. Past winners have come from Ethiopia, Tajikistan, Nepal and France, demonstrating the global reach of the Award. As Aslisho Qurboniev from 2014 winner Pamir Horse Adventure explains winning the Award provides projects engaged in sustainable mountain tourism with a significant ‘jump’. “After we were selected as the winners by the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission our confidence was bolstered. Winning the Award gave us a lot of publicity, locally and internationally, both on the relevant mountain protection platforms and in the community-based tourism sector. We made good use of the opportunity to promote our activities and our tourism destinations. We devoted the financial award to sponsoring our community-based tourism activities and to attending international conferences.”

The UIAA takes the opportunity to thank the 26 projects who applied for the 2017 Award and the Mountain Protection Award Assessment Team for their commitment and expertise.

A press release dedicated to the announcement of the 2017 winner will be available on Monday 23 October.

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Video: 2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award
22 NOMINEES: 2017 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD

Argentina: Mujer Montaña
Mountains for Life; Cordillera Blanca, Our Ecological Footprint

Argentina: Project Aconcagua
Implementation of human waste disposal measures at base and high altitude camps

Austria: Alpine Pearls
Supporting environmentally friendly travel

Azerbaijan: FAIREX
Less In, More Out

Cambodia: Wildlife Alliance
Community-based ecotourism in the Cardamon Mountain Range, Cambodia

Colombia: Fundación Edenes de Colombia
Acceso a paraísos de Colombia (Access to Colombia’s paradises)

Colombia: Project Cordillera
Connecting adventure tourism with high mountain communities and local efforts to protect the environment

Croatia: Zagreb Speleological Union
Clean underground

International: Biosphere Expeditions
Mountain protection worldwide through citizen science and volunteering

Iran: I.R Iran Mountaineering & Sport Climbing Federation
Waste Management, Education Mountaineers and Cultural Affairs in Damavand

Ireland: Help the Hills
Tallaght: ‘Gateway to the Dublin Mountains’

Italy: Fondation Grand Paradis
I.T.E.R – Imaginer Un Transport Efficace et Responsable

Italy: Giroparchi
Discovery journey of the areas of the Gran Paradiso and Mont Avic parks

Italy: Paraloup
La Montagna che Rinasce (The Reborn mountain)

Italy: Rê.V.E. – Grand Paradis
A network of electric vehicles

Italy/Philippines: La Venta Esplorazioni Geografiche
Support for sustainable eco-tourism in Puerto Princesa underground river (Palawan, Philippines)

Latin America: Acceso PanAM
Managing human waste in advance base camps in Patagonia

Lebanon: Mount Zayan
Environmental education and accessible trails for eco-tourists

United Kingdom: Community Action Nepal
Post-earthquake recover programme in Nepalese mountain communities

United States: Clean Climbing on Denali
The removal of all waste

United States: Mount Everest Biogas Project
Environmentally sustainable solution to the impact of human waste on Mount Everest and beyond

United States: Wilderness Rock Climbing Indicators and Climbing Management Implications
Health of the climbing system as a part of wilderness character in National Park Wilderness

Further details: Mountain Protection Award
Contact: mountainprotection

Main Image: Courtesy of Project Cordillera

The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 91 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

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Update on Ice Climbing with the UIAA

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The UIAA News Release.
10, January 2017
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2017 UIAA Ice Climbing Season

Athletes from nearly twenty countries enjoy a competitive, close-fought UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup weekend as Russian athletes claim gold medals in lead and speed.

The UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour, partnered by The North Face Korea, heads to Cheongsong, South Korea next weekend for the third event of the season.

Two very distinct venues, four deserving gold medals winners and one memorable weekend of ice climbing.

Beijing is the new stop on the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour and its excellent hosting of World Cup events in lead and speed from 7-9 January ensure athletes will be eager to return in the seasons to come.

First class facilities and hospitality were matched by two excellent venues for lead and speed as competition in the 2017 UIAA Ice Climbing season, partnered by The North Face Korea, intensified.

Ice duels

The speed competition, held on a mountainous cascade of ice was first to conclude. 37 male and 14 female athletes prepared to conquer a wall which bought multiple challenges and demanded nimble footwork, raw speed and core strength. The duel format is engaging, fast paced and winner takes all. Athlete against athlete until the field is whittled down.

By the men’s semi-final stage it was down to four Russian athletes. Each semi-final divided into two rounds. In the first duel Radomir Proshchenko saw off compatriot Nikolay Shved by a near five second margin. The second semi-final proved closer. This despite Vladimir Karthashev recording the second fastest time on ice over the weekend. A breathtaking 10.37 seconds on his first attempt. In the second climb rival athlete Nikolai Kuzovlev won comfortably but not by a significant enough margin to overturn the six second deficit he had incurred during a poor first climb.

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Video: Men’s Speed Final
The final was set. Proshchenko versus Karthashev. The latter edged the first climb. Barely time to catch their breath and the countdown started for the decisive second ascent. Proshchenko began with intent. Could he become the first athlete to break the 10-second barrier in Beijing? A costly slip halfway up the climb curtailed that ambition but he continued powerfully to defeat his rival by over two seconds and claim the gold medal. In the bronze medal encounter, Shved took the spoils.
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Video: Women’s Speed Final
The women’s speed final came down to two athletes with rich gold medal heritage. Maria Tolokonina is the defending World Cup champion in both lead and speed. Ekaterina Koshcheeva finished second in speed last year and won gold in Saas Fee. Despite a few stuttering moments, Koshcheeva took the first climb by .26 seconds. The defending champion had to claw her way back. However, on the second climb it was Koshcheeva who exerted her dominance as a tired Tolokonina made a costly slip. A well deserved gold medal. Completing the podium was Nadezhda Gallyamova.

Redemption in lead

42 male athletes and 22 female athletes contested the lead competition at a recently revamped, state-of-the-art venue in Beijing.

A number of athletes compete in both the speed and lead events. No small feat for the likes of Maria Tolokonina who had given her all in Sunday’s speed competition. After claiming silver in the speed final, Tolokonina showed her class throughout Monday’s lead competition, winning each of the rounds. In the final she completed the climb in a faster time than Korean athletes Shin Woonseon, gold medal winner in Durango, and the ever impressive Song Han Na Rai. Her outpouring of emotion at the end of climb demonstrated how hard she had worked.

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Video: Maria Tolokonina (Russia), winning lead climb
The men’s lead competition finely demonstrated the competitive, international nature of the field. The top five places were occupied by athletes from different countries. Defending champion Maxim Tomilov failed to make the final. Finishing fifth Janez Svoljsak from Slovenia continues to improve season after season; following an excellent climb in Durango, Canada’s Noah Beek took fourth place. Yannick Glatthard, Switzerland’s rising ice climbing star claimed bronze while HeeYong Park warmed up for his homecoming climb in Cheongsong with a silver medal. Dominant in the semi-final, gold went to Nikolai Kuzovlev. Like Tolokonina, he showed great resilience and strength of character in recovering from a tough speed competition.
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Video: Nikolai Kuzovlev (Russia), winning lead climb
The UIAA thanks all of the event organisers and the Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) for their hospitality and excellent organization of the event.

Results

Men’s Lead

1. Nikolai KUZOVLEV, RUS
2. Park HEEYONG, KOR
3. Yannick GLATTHARD, SUI
4. Noah BEEK, CAN
5. Janez SVOLJSAK, SLO

Men’s Speed

1. Radomir PROSHCHENKO, RUS
2. Vladimir KARTASHEV, RUS
3. Nikolay SHVED, RUS
4. Nikolai KUZOVLEV, RUS

Women’s Lead

1. Maria TOLOKONINA, RUS
2. Shin WOONSEON, KOR
3. Song HAN NA RAI, KOR
4. Ekaterina VLASOVA, RUS
5. Mariia EDLER, RUS

Women’s Speed

1. Ekaterina KOSHCHEEVA, RUS
2. Maria TOLOKONINA, RUS
3. Nadezhda GALLYAMOVA, RUS
4. Ekaterina FEOKTISTOVA, RUS

Full results from Beijing and season standings can be found on the live UIAA Ice Climbing page.

Follow the action

Images from World Cup event in Beijing will shortly be available on the UIAA Flickr channel.

Video highlights from Beijing, including livestreaming playback can be viewed on the UIAA YouTube channel.

Livestreaming will be provided from the next round of action as Cheongsong, South Korea hosts the third event of the season next weekend.

Competition Schedule

World Cup
14-15 January, Cheongsong (South Korea)
20-21 January, Saas Fee (Switzerland)
28-29 January, Rabenstein (Italy)

UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships
4-5 February, Champagny-en-Vanoise (France)

UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships
10-11 February, Champagny-en-Vanoise (France)
Main Image: Xinhua Sports

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The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 92 member associations in 69 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

UIAA OFFICE
Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000
Bern 23, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828
news

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December 11 is International Mountain Day

The UIAA. News Release.uiaa-1

International Mountain Day, 11 December 2016

International Mountain Day takes place on Sunday 11 December. This occasion was designated in 2003 by the United Nations General Assembly and has been observed on 11 December each and every year since. Its primary goal is to raise awareness about ‘the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.’ This year’s theme focuses on Mountain Cultures, which presents an opportune moment for us to reflect on our own culture as mountaineers in the context of current issues facing the mountain environment, the daily challenges faced by mountain people, together with the commitment of the UIAA in the field of mountain sustainability and that of its global constellation of member federations.

The UIAA, its member federations and Mountain Protection Commission have produced, and contributed to, a series of articles to mark International Mountain Day.

Coming Soon: Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). Report from Conference on Climate Change, Tourism and Earthquake Recovery.

Please visit our dedicated International Mountain Day page for further information

A review of International Mountain Day will feature as part of the UIAA’s December newsletter, published on Monday 19 December

The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 92 member associations in 68 countries representing about 3 million climbers and mountaineers. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

UIAA OFFICE

Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000

Bern 23, Switzerland

Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828

news@theuiaa.org


UIAA Updates: If you are a Rock Climber or Mountaineer this Great Organization is part of your Life.

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Welcome to UIAA Newsletter – November 2015
Issue No. 0

Everest2.jpg UIAA Statement regarding Proposed Restrictions on Mount Everest

The UIAA fully supports the decision by Nepalese authorities to propose more stringent measures for climbers wishing to scale the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest (29,029ft / 8,848m). These measures will include individuals having to prove they have already scaled a peak in excess of 6,500m, eliminating the possibility of novice climbers scaling the mountain. Read More

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Member Federations
IMG_7379_Marco-Frattini.jpg Join the UIAA in supporting the World Food Programme and Nepal Mountaineering Association’s response in Nepal
Following the April earthquake that shook Nepal and left thousands of people stranded in remote locations beyond the access of roads and helicopters, the World Food Programme (WFP) set up a Remote Access Operation to reach survivors with life-saving food, medicine and shelter. … Read More
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Safety
bolt.jpg New Download: UIAA Warning About Climbing Anchor Failures
The UIAA Safety Commission has produced an extensive document ‘Watch Your Anchor! Corrosion and Stress Corrosion Cracking Failure of Climbing Anchors’. … Read More
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Sustainability
test2.jpg The UIAA integrates Respect the Mountains
The UIAA is delighted to announce the extension of its activities in mountain preservation through the recent addition of the Respect the Mountains campaign. … Read More
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General Assembly
LEA_4284.jpg Images: 2015 UIAA General Assembly
Member federations can access the photo library from the 2015 UIAA General by accessing the UIAA Flickr account at the following link. … Read More
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Mountain Protection
MPA15_banner.jpg 2015 UIAA Mountain Protection Award Winner
KTK-BELT Studio joins impressive list of UIAA Mountain Protection Award recipients … Read More
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Competition Sports
herndon_ben_bif17_UIAAnewsletter-6.jpg Confirmation: UIAA Ice Climbing Event in Bozeman, Montana goes ahead
The UIAA informs member federations, athletes and the ice climbing community that the 2016 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour season opener in Bozeman, Montana scheduled for 11-12 December will go ahead as planned. … Read More
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Youth
IYCI_Italy1.png Registration for 2016 International Youth Ice Climbing Camp (Italy) open
Information is now available – and registration open – for the 2016 International Youth Climbing Camp in Italy. … Read More
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Guillestre-region-IMG_3686.jpg 2016 International Youth Ice Climbing Camp (France) registration open
Full details about February’s International Youth Ice Climbing camp in France are now available. … Read More
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10 – 12 December 2015
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup & NA Championships
Bozeman, MT. USA16 – 17 January 2016
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup & Asian Championships
Cheongsong. Korea

22 – 23 January 2016
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup
Saas Fee

29 – 31 January 2016
UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup
Rabenstein

06 – 07 February 2016
UIAA World Youth Championships – Rabenstein
Rabenstein

06 – 10 February 2016
International Youth Ice Climbing Camp
Valle Varaita (Cuneo)

See full calendar

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UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation

Monbijoustrasse 61 Postbach CH-3000 Bern 23 Switzerland


UIAA Respoect the Mountains Campaign

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UIAA integrates Respect the Mountains

News release

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The UIAA is delighted to announce the extension of its activities in mountain preservation through the recent addition of the Respect the Mountains campaign.

Over the past decade, Respect the Mountains has acted as a guardian of the mountain world raising awareness through the practice of seven cardinal rules: book smart; travel wise; support sustainable practices; be a respectful and responsible mountain tourist; ‘leave no trace’; reduce, reuse, recycle & upcycle (RRRU) and spread the word.

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Respect the Mountains has worked tirelessly to promote sustainable mountain tourism both by encouraging supporters to raise donations and through organizing a global network of volunteers. On a practical level they have spearheaded the Envirotrek CleanUp series dedicated to collecting litter from mountain and nature areas across Europe.

The UIAA is proud to inherit this significant challenge aimed at ensuring greater sustainability in the mountain tourism industry. Respecting the needs and wishes of mountain communities will continue to be a core component of the project in parallel with research, innovation and educating young people about preservation to ensure mountains continue to captivate future generations. As part of its strategy for the future the UIAA will organize educational projects during the ski season and clean-up events in the summer months.

“Adding Respect the Mountains to our range of activities is a significant step,” explained UIAA President Frits Vrijlandt, “the project will be aligned to our long-established commitment to mountain protection. We actively encourage our member federations to organize Respect the Mountains initiatives in their respective territories.”

The UIAA will be supported in this venture by outdoor footwear brand KEEN, specialists in sandals and hiking shoes, and long-term supporter of the project. Since its creation in 2003, KEEN has been an active supporter of good causes working with non-profit organizations around the world building stronger communities and a healthier planet and actively working to inspire responsible outdoor participation and land and water conservation.

“KEEN is excited about the new direction of Respect the Mountains and we hope that with the help of the UIAA we can help raise the voice of Respect the Mountains to make sure that more people keep our playgrounds clean and learn about how the 7 ways to reduce our impact, whilst building a sustainable future,” explained Perry Laukens, KEEN Marketing Director.

Additional information concerning Respect the Mountains is available here.


UIAA: Final Call for $5,000 Mountain Protection Awards

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Contact: office
Tel: +41 (0) 31 370 1828
NEWS RELEASEFinal call to submit projects for US$5,000 UIAA Mountain Protection Award13 July 2015 – BERN, Switzerland: The deadline to submit an application for the UIAA Mountain Protection Award which includes a cash prize of US$5,000 is 31 July 2015.

“Whether you are a winner or a nominee, the UIAA Mountain Protection Award is a unique opportunity to showcase environmentally sustainable initiatives and projects in the mountains by associations and travel agencies from around the world,” said Valérie Thöni, UIAA project officer.

“The tireless work done by groups and companies, both big and small, around the world to protect our fragile mountain environment needs to be recognized,” said Thöni, “and the Award does just that.”

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UIAA President Frits Vrijlandt speaks out about the need to protect the mountain environment and the role of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award (Click for video)

An example of a nominee for the 2015 award is the work done to prevent the desertification of the environmentally sensitive and remote mountainous Paso Grande region in the province of San Luis, Argentina.

The Paso Grande pilot project is one of 17 sites in a network of assessment and monitoring of the National Observatory of Land Degradation and Desertification. Through crowdfunding initiatives, sustainable land management practices are being implemented in the region.

The projects also aim to promote capacity building in the local community, where infrastructure to accommodate tourists is lacking, so that they can take advantage of the benefits offered by the natural landscape for rural tourism.

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A project to prevent the desertification of the Paso Grande region of Argentina is a nominee for the 2015 UIAA Mountain Protection Award

Another initiative to be nominated is the Khaptad National Park (KNP) situated in far western edge of Nepal.

The non-profit organization Tourism Development Society (T.D.S.) aims to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the park by mobilizing local resources to provide services develop sustainable tourism in the Khaptad National Park for enhancing economic opportunities for local people, preserving the environment and culture.

The UIAA Mountain Protection Award supports community-based tourism that simultaneously contributes to the conservation of ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods for local people. Projects submitted should involve environmental concerns and activities linked with energy efficiency, conservation initiatives, waste management, community activities and water conservation.

Now in its third year, the award is sponsored by Western University and Golden Rock Travel of Azerbaijan.

Winners are chosen every October by the Assessment and Award Team which coordinates the review and approval/denial of applications of mountain protection initiatives. The Team is composed of internationally recognized experts who are specialists and academics in environment/mountain protection issues, as well as expert members from the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission.

For more information please contact Valérie Thöni or visit the Award website for details on how to submit a nomination.

Deadline: 31 July 2015

UIAA | Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach CH-3000 | Bern | Switzerland

UIAA Ice Climbing News

Ice Climbing News

 

Experience the thrill of the Speed Duel during UIAA Ice Climbing World Championship (Speed) in Kirov, Russia

3 March 2015, BERN – Switzerland: The thrill of the Speed duel comes alive this weekend (6-8 March 2015) during the UIAA Ice Climbing World Speed Championship in Kirov, Russia presented by The North Face Korea.

Once every two years athletes on the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour compete for the title of “World Champion” and the opportunity to called the fastest ice climber in the world is a coveted title for athletes who gather in Kirov, Russia for the UIAA Ice Climbing World Speed Championship.

The Speed Wall in Kirov, Russia

“Watching a Speed duel, and especially in Kirov, Russia, is something that is unique, spectacular and worth experiencing,” said UIAA Ice Climbing President Urs Stoecker. “This is one event not to be missed.”

The sight of ice climbers powering their way up an ice wall, ice flying, with picks and crampons will be available through live streaming at the www.iceclimbingworldcup.org

Located about 1,000 kilometers northeast of Moscow, Kirov is considered the home of competitive ice climbing in Russia and boasts a spectacular Speed wall situated against the backdrop of a ski jump.

The UIAA World Speed Championship competition in Kirov, Russia will see the likes of Vladimir Kartashev and Ekaterina Feoktistova of Russia compete with athletes from around the world such as Kendra Stritch from the U.S.A., Yann Gerome of France and Samuel Clavien from Switzerland.

Kartashev, Feoktistova, Gerome and Stritch will be joined by competitors from countries such as Ukraine, Switzerland, Mongolia, South Korea, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Canada and Azerbaijan in Russia.

UIAA Speed demons (Photo: David Schweizer for UIAA)

Earlier this year in February, Rabenstein (Italy) held 2015 World Championships in Lead (difficulty). That competition was one by WoonSeon Shin of Korea and Maxim Tomilov of Russia.

Please click here for the full event schedule

Please click here for the local organizer website

Please email iceclimbingfor more information

About the UIAA

The UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation was founded in 1932 and has a global presence on five continents with 82 member associations in 63 countries representing more than 3 million people. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical climbing and mountaineering practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection in mountains. The organization operates through the work of its commissions that make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee for climbing and mountaineering.


Nepal Mountaineering Association working on Himalayan issues

Report to the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) shows efforts and hard work to make mountaineering a great sport and occupation

Ang Tshering Sherpa has filed a report with the UIAA with updates on the work the association is doing. The association has been around for years, however the avalanche on Mt. Everest this spring has prompted this new round of action on behalf of the association.

This is a very comprehensive report showing work on dozens of topics.

See Nepal Himalaya issues being addressed by the Nepal Mountaineering Association

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Copyright 2014 Recreation Law (720) 334-8529

 

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Sustainable Summits: The International Mountain Conference on Environmental Practices

The American Alpine Club (AAC), in collaboration with Denali National Park will host this event at the Mountaineering Center in Golden Colorado July 20-23.

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Registration for the Sustainable Summits Conference, July 20-24, is open to all individuals interested in mountain sustainability, as well as those seeking training and professional networking opportunities.  For conference information and online registration go to http://www.americanalpineclub.org/p/sustainable_summits.

Contacts:

Roger Robinson, conference co-director sustainable.summits@gmail.com

Remy Rodriguez rrodriguez@americanalpineclub.org

What do you think? Leave a comment.

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

Copyright 2014 Recreation Law (720) 334-8529

 

Call or Email me if you need legal services around these issues.

Email: Rec-law@recreation-law.com

Google+: +Recreation

Twitter: RecreationLaw

Facebook: Rec.Law.Now

Facebook Page: Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Travel Law

Blog:www.recreation-law.com

Mobile Site: http://m.recreation-law.com

By Recreation Law    Rec-law@recreation-law.com         James H. Moss         #Authorrank

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2014 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup set to begin

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News Release2014 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup set to beginLive streaming available on new competition website

9 January 2014, BERN, Switzerland: The UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation is pleased to provide live streaming of the 2014 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup at http:/www.iceclimbingworldcup.org which begins in Cheongsong, Korea on Saturday, 11 January 2014.

Cheongsong, Korea (UTC/GMT +9 hours) is the first stop of the annual competition circuit. The competition then moves on to Busteni (Romania), Saas Fee (Switzerland), Champagny-en-Vanoise (France), Rabenstein (Italy) and Ufa (Russia).

Please check the event calendar for Cheongsong to find the competition schedule when live streaming will be available.

You can also follow the competition on Twitter or Facebook.

There are two types of events which are part of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup:

Speed: competitors climb up an artificial ice wall in the fastest time.
Lead: competitors are judged on their ability to climb a difficult route in the best time.

There are two types of winners; those who win each phase of the competition and overall winners based on the total points accumulated throughout the competition.

About Goldwin Korea

The UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup is sponsored by Goldwin Korea which is the official license partner of The North Face in Korea. Goldwin Korea launched The North Face in Korea in 1997 and The North Face is now the leading outdoor brand in Korea.

The agreement involves a long-term commitment by the UIAA and Goldwin Korea to champion and develop the sport of competitive ice climbing.

About the UIAA

The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 80 member associations in 50 countries representing about 2.9 million people. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of mountaineering and climbing worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee for mountaineering and natural surface climbing.

Ice climbing

Ice climbing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


New Group formed to promote Freedom in Mountaineering. Fear that attorneys and media will close the mountains based on fear and failure to understand forced the formation of Italian Observatory for Liberty in Mountaineering

Liberty in Mountaineering to resist attempts by national or local authorities to constrain freedom of access and risk taking in mountaineering and climbing

Italian Observatory for Liberty in Mountaineering

Ice climbing

Ice climbing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Motivation and purposes.

The “Osservatorio per la Libertà in Alpinismo” (Observatory for Liberty in Mountaineering) is a Free Association, recognized by the Italian Alpine Club. Its purpose is the defense of liberty in the various mountaineering practices against the increasing tendency to restrain it. This tendency is typical of advanced societies, where the broad detachment from natural life generates an obsession against dangers in general.  This feature of the “société sécuritaire” is fostered by social tensions and by the wide diffusion of information.

The social rejection of the forms of liberty that imply dangers is particularly reactive to accidents in mountaineering, ski-mountaineering and climbing.   Out of it comes the restrictive interpretation of laws and the plan of oppressive ones.  Local authorities often set constraints to the access to mountain areas which are not justified by environmental concern.

The reaction to all this led the Italian Mountaineers to create the Observatory.  Its main purpose is to gather information about the threats to liberty and to react against attempts to constrain the freedom in mountaineering practices.  One of its main tasks is to deepen the understanding of the general public opinion and to let the public understand the values of the adventure in mountaineering and of the principles of liberty.

Obviously, liberty cannot reach as far as creating damages to anyone; the Italian Alpine Club runs powerful mountaineering and climbing schools all over the Country and steadily invites its members to have a sound approach to mountaineering.  But the Observatory does not accept critical arguments such as “dangers for the rescue teams” and “costs for the national health service”. No space here for details.

The negative vision of mountaineering can lead to constraints on access to adventure terrains, far beyond those that may be justified by environmental concern. This is a field of action for the Observatory, but even more important is the fight for freedom to take risks, which is an inherent feature of mountaineering.  Its importance is enhanced by the increasing tendency of advanced societies to infringe the right to risk taking in other fields of human activity.

This brief note is obviously confined to a few essential features of the menace to liberty, but an important point must still be mentioned, since it was recognized during the “Assises  de l’Alpinisme” that were held on 2011  in Grenoble and Chamonix:  the problem is international,  therefore it deserves attention by all Countries of UIAA.

Motivation and purposes.

Schitour am Hochkönig (Österreich)

Schitour am Hochkönig (Österreich) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The “Osservatorio per la Libertà in Alpinismo” (Observatory for Liberty in Mountaineering) is a Free Association, recognized by the Italian Alpine Club. Its purpose is the defense of liberty in the various mountaineering practices against the increasing tendency to restrain it. This tendency is typical of advanced societies, where the broad detachment from natural life generates an obsession against dangers in general.  This feature of the “société sécuritaire” is fostered by social tensions and by the wide diffusion of information.

The social rejection of the forms of liberty that imply dangers is particularly reactive to accidents in mountaineering, ski-mountaineering and climbing.   Out of it comes the restrictive interpretation of laws and the plan of oppressive ones.  Local authorities often set constraints to the access to mountain areas which are not justified by environmental concern.

The reaction to all this led the Italian Mountaineers to create the Observatory.  Its main purpose is to gather information about the threats to liberty and to react against attempts to constrain the freedom in mountaineering practices.  One of its main tasks is to deepen the understanding of the general public opinion and to let the public understand the values of the adventure in mountaineering and of the principles of liberty.

Obviously, liberty cannot reach as far as creating damages to anyone; the Italian Alpine Club runs powerful mountaineering and climbing schools all over the Country and steadily invites its members to have a sound approach to mountaineering.  But the Observatory does not accept critical arguments such as “dangers for the rescue teams” and “costs for the National Health Service”. No space here for details.

The negative vision of mountaineering can lead to constraints on access to adventure terrains, far beyond those that may be justified by environmental concern. This is a field of action for the Observatory, but even more important is the fight for freedom to take risks, which is an inherent feature of mountaineering.  Its importance is enhanced by the increasing tendency of advanced societies to infringe the right to risk taking in other fields of human activity.

This brief note is obviously confined to a few essential features of the menace to liberty, but an important point must still be mentioned, since it was recognized during the “Assises  de l’Alpinisme” that were held on 2011  in Grenoble and Chamonix:  the problem is international,  therefore it deserves attention by all Countries of UIAA.

Do SomethingUIAA Safety Label logo color1

Do you believe this is becoming a problem? I believe it is a very real problem. If you are a mountaineer you expect death. Yet the park service tried to yank a Denali permit from a commercial outfitter when they had one death. The permitee was given a non-preferential review even though the outfitter had a stellar record prior to the fatality. (See Top National Park Service Officials Reverse Decision Tied To Fatal Climbing Accident.)

I had a lady call me once about a zip line. The zip line was going in down the road from her and she did not want it.  I asked her why figuring she would say something about traffic on the road or the type of people zip lines attract and she said because they hurt and kill so many people.

See Jon Heshka and the Right of the Individual to Die Doing What We Love

It is our right to experience the world anyway we want. If that is sitting on a couch watching football, fine. If that is testing yourself against a mountain, the cold, testing yourself against yourself, then I believe it is fantastic. I understand I may die. I don’t believe I will die, but I understand the risks. I have looked at the risks and made the decision to live life rather than wait for death.

For more information about this organization see Italian observatory set to lobby for freedom in the mountains

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Copyright 2013 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law

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The UIAA has a Code for High Altitude Guide Services

The basics of the code are great: the more a client knows the better the trip and the least likely a problem will occur.

The UIAA (International Mountaineering And Climbing Federation (Union Internationale Des Associations D’alpinisme)) developed a code for high altitude mountaineering. You can find the code at: Recommended Code of Practice for High Altitude Guided Commercial Expeditions

It is quite interesting and I’m curious about your comments and concerns about the code. Even better, are we living up to it?

Recommended Code of Practice for High Altitude Guided Commercial Expeditions

Approved by UIAA General Assembly Malacca October 1998

1. Definition. This Code applies specifically to commercial operators attempting 8000m or other comparable peaks which offer to guide or accompany climbers above Base Camp and also to operators who offer more limited facilities. However it may also concern operators who supply transport etc to Base Camp, and may also supply Base Camp services and High Altitude porters.

2. Rationale. A variety of organisations offer to take clients on 8000m peaks. They vary from those which provide a full service to the summit or nearly to the summit, to those where there is minimal support for clients above Base Camp. However at the present moment it is difficult for clients to deduce from brochures exactly what is offered in terms of guiding and support, and whether it corresponds to their needs. This Code supplies clients with pointers to assist them to make an informed choice.

3. High Altitude Warning. Mountaineers climbing at very high altitude, especially above 8000m are at the limit of their mental and physical powers and may not be capable of assisting others as has always been traditional in mountaineering.

This fact is of particular importance to mountaineers of limited experience who rely on professional guides to bring them safely up and down 8000m peaks. They should be made aware that the risks involved in climbing 8000m peaks are such that a high degree of self-reliance is always necessary.

Guides may have to carry out a rescue of members of their own team or others on the mountain. This may cause clients to miss a summit attempt.

The Code

1. The leader or chief guide and as many as possible of the guides should have high altitude experience appropriate to the altitude of the peak to be climbed. There is no qualification appropriate to high altitude guiding, so the term “guide” does not imply that the person holds a professional qualification. Clients can only judge from the previous experience of the guides, who may be westerners or Sherpas or other local mountaineers.

2. The guiding and portering staff on the mountain and the material supplied must be adequate for the aims of the party and stated level of service offered.

3. A doctor in the party is very desirable but at the very least advance arrangements must be made for medical help. Advance arrangements must also be made for evacuation assistance in case of emergency.

4. The minimum safety equipment available must be walkie-talkie radios, radio or satellite rear-link and recommended medical supplies.

5. Advertising must give a true picture of all the difficulties and dangers involved, and avoid promising the impossible. Biographical information about the guiding team should be included.

6. The client must truthfully reveal his experience, medical history etc to the organiser so that the organiser can make an informed choice about the potential client.

7. Information supplied in advance should include a clear statement of the guiding, porterage and equipment which will be supplied by the organiser, together with details of the clothing and equipment to be supplied by the client.

8. Operators and clients must take account of the UIAA Environmental Objectives and Guidelines and follow the UIAA Expeditions Code of Ethics.

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UIAA looking at how 8000 meter peaks are identified

New way to identify peaks would add eight new peaks to the 8000 meter listUIAA Safety Label logo color1

The UIAA (International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) is the worldwide organization that defines, for lack of a better word, mountaineering. One of the organizations latest investigations is to re-define what is an 8000 meter peak. Currently there are 14 of these peaks, first climbed by Reinhold Messner. The change in definition would add 8 peaks to the list.

Below is the current analysis of how the new definition would work and how it would apply.

1)  Initial goal: defining one or more criteria for identifying 8000er peaks for a new, enlarged and officially accepted list. Earlier literature on the subject indicates the possibility of a topographic criterion (a peak is a topographic entity) and a mountaineering criterion (let us not forget that a list of this type is targeted primarily at mountaineers). Successive goal: applying the new criteria, as rigorously as we choose, to all possible new 8000ers.

2)  Working assumption. Definitive judgments on the list, that we will propose, will be down to those 8000er climbers that want to collaborate with us. Their judgments will be primarily useful with regard to possible new 8000ers that they themselves have climbed, or at least observed and documented close-up. On the other hand, we should avoid judgments that are too heterogeneous and difficult to reconcile. For this reason, I think we should propose criteria in a clear form and that can be easily applied, we should also make a first attempt to compile the list of the new 8000ers. Naturally everyone will be able to propose modifications but an attempt at a list would certainly simplify the process.

3)  From the concept of a mountain to the concept of a peak. This is a general discourse but I think it is useful to mention it briefly because it serves to avoid that confusion which has unfortunately tarnished earlier articles on the enlargement of the 8000er list.

Many mountaineers ask why there are 14 8000ers and on what basis they have been chosen. If it is true that the compilers of the Survey of India had to triangulate the highest point of a mountain, I think that in those places and times, one was impressed above all by the overall bulk of a mountain and by its majestic proportions (as always happens among mountain dwellers). Thus were the 14 8000ers established, the 14 highest and most imposing mountains. When climbers began to reach their peaks, perceptions began to change: the mountaineer began to see that there was another peak of the same mountain: which was the higher? Was it separated from him by a sufficiently deep col, could it therefore be considered as a peak? So a mountain could have several peaks. Was it worth climbing that other peak, perhaps via a new route? All niceties, of course, as long as you were not even dreaming of climbing to the summit of these mountains. However the concept of peaks is gaining ground until it becomes, perhaps, the dominant concept, at least in certain areas. The inadequacy of the 14 standard 8000ers and the request to enlarge the number of them, in my opinion, reflects the evolution of these ideas, from the intuitive and immediate idea of a mountain to the (more rational) idea of a peak. In other words we are talking about extending to the Himalayas and Karakorum what happened in the Alps some time ago, passing from the concept of a mountain (or massif) to the concept of a peak. The two concepts should not be confused, note that we will be listing peaks. The concept of a mountain continues to be useful in some cases, when, for example, the eternal problem of ridge gendarmes and their relation to the mother mountain arises. However we will examine this later.

4)  Possible topographic criteria.

Preliminary sources of information. As well as the texts published at the time of the choice of the 82 Alpine 4000ers (see the site http://www.club4000.it), the following sites are useful for the 8000ers and for the criteria for making choices on them:

[1]  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topographic_prominence, that clearly defines prominence.

Mountaineers

[2]  http://www.8000ers.com, including a lot of data on the 8000ers.

[3]  www.peaklist.org

The possible topographic criteria are as follows:

(a)  Criterion of the maximum adjacent col. This criterion was used around 20 years ago to define the Alpine 4000ers. It was very simple and immediate, and had a favourable welcome from the international commission and the UIAA. Note that, in many cases, the concepts of maximum adjacent col and of prominence (see below) are the same thing. Recent studies (see sites [1-3] above), however, suggest that this criterion should be more rigorous regarding the definition of maximum adjacent col. Unfortunately this greater rigour would reduce the simplicity of the concept.

(b)  Criterion of prominence (or orometrical prominence). This is the principal criterion proposed in sites [1-3] above and today carries a broad consensus. The definition, as explained in site [1] above, is simple, using Fig. 1.

clip_image002FIG. 1

 

Suppose that we want to assess the prominence of peak X, that has two higher peaks nearby (M1 and M2). Follow the ridge that unites X to M1 and identify the lowest col on it (col C1), this is the minimum col. Do the same on the ridge that unites X to M2 and identify a second minimum col, that is C2. Then select the higher of the minimum cols, C2, which is then called the key col. The height difference between X and the key col (line p) is the prominence of peak X. Naturally, if there were several higher peaks in the vicinity, each of the ridges and minimum cols would be considered. If there were only one higher peak, there would be only one ridge and the minimum col will automatically be the key col. In reality the idea of prominence has two faces. If the peak that we are considering is isolated (i.e. some distance from the higher peaks), the measuring of prominence becomes complicated and requires a knowledge of many, many cols as well as the use of dedicated software and obviously a computer, indeed it is of little interest to mountaineers. For example, the key col of Mont Blanc is next to Lake Onega in Russia, the key col of Mount McKinley (Alaska) is located by Lake Nicaragua in Central America, and so on. If instead peak X is a satellite of a higher peak nearby, e.g. one of the 14 8000ers (that luckily is the case for us), then the evaluation of prominence becomes much simpler.

(c)  Concept of dominance.  This is an interesting concept because it expresses the percentage of individuality of a peak, independent of its absolute altitude. If however we look at the formula that expresses dominance D (see site [2] above):  D = (P/Alt)  100, where P is the prominence and Alt the absolute altitude of the peak, we note immediately that Alt in our case is always close to 8000, or at least little distant from it, therefore the formula in practice becomes D = P/80. D is therefore in fixed proportion to P (about 80 times smaller than P). So D is effectively a duplicate measure of P and is of little use to us. It could however be useful when we compare mountain groups with very different altitudes.

In conclusion, considering the popularity of prominence, its simplicity of application, at least in our case, the fact that data on the prominence of 8000er satellites (which are those peaks that interest us) is available on site [2] above, and finally (the most important issue) the fact that the use of a concept already broadly accepted is another reason why the UIAA should not raise too many objections to our proposal – all these things have convinced me of the value of using this measure in our work on the topographic aspects (let me know what you think about it).

(5)  Choice of the critical value of prominence.  This is the crucial point: we have to choose a number, even if only approximate – if not, we are locked into the realm of personal opinions. There are two routes we can take. The first is that followed, for example, in site [2] above to find a valid value for prominence in order to divide the mountains into categories of greater or lesser importance. One idea is 30 metres because that has been for a long time the length of a climbing rope. In the work done for the Alpine 4000ers, however, I preferred another idea that seemed more realistic and closer to what mountaineers have in mind.

Please indulge me for a moment and I will briefly illustrate the idea. The starting point, and this is fundamental, connected to the idea of a peak, is identifying the peak with respect to the surrounding area. In other words we think of the peak as a point that stands at a certain difference in height with respect to the surrounding area. OK but what is the minimum difference in height, above which we consider the feature to be a peak? If we see a mass that rises 300 metres above the surrounding ground, that is a peak; if we see a mass that rises 30 cm, that is a rock. Obviously there is within each of our minds a critical value above which we talk about a peak, even if none of us has probably ever tried to put a figure on that value. The problem is indeed putting a figure on the critical value of prominence. To get at it, I considered the 4000ers that, in the numerous earlier lists, were accepted by some and rejected by others because they did not stand out enough. These 4000ers were evidently the key that could resolve the problem. I calculated therefore the average of the height differences between these doubtful 4000ers and their respective highest adjacent cols. The average height difference was in the range of 30-40 metres. It was therefore apparent that, below 30 metres, mountaineers do not speak of peaks. This was the minimum height difference acceptable to call a 4000er a peak. It is important to note that this criterion and this value of 30 metres were not inventing anything new nor were they overturning existing criteria or values. They did however make explicit what had been hidden in the earlier lists, even if still in an implicit form.

To use this procedure in our case we must select an initial base, for example one or more lists proposed previously for the new 8000ers which are candidates to enter into an official list. In this field there are very few lists proposed, and in general they are drawn up by a few isolated mountaineers. There is however an earlier work (see the very useful document of Luciano Ratto sent to us on 5 April) carried out by a group of 43 Slovakian 8000er climbers, who have made a total of 85 ascents to peaks over 8000 metres, among which all the 14 official ones plus a few minor peaks, and have used their extensive experience to compile a list of possible new 8000ers (the table appears on the site http://www.8000.sk/21×8000.pdf). In my opinion, it would be senseless not to give due weight to this valuable work and I think it could be our starting point. The small number of other lists, compiled by isolated mountaineers, would have little bearing on our case, according to me, given that the opinions of these few others would have little weight compared to those of the 43 Slovakians. Note that, even when we worked on the 4000ers, we were not able to benefit by the opinions of this many mountaineers and experts. No criterion of choice has been indicated in the Slovakian list; moreover, at the moment of publication, several of the 8000er climbers were no longer alive for which, more so than for a work founded on criteria that have been pondered over and shared, it is perhaps likely that many of the opinions were individual, and that those opinions have not been closely coordinated. Nevertheless, our aim is to extract that critical value, previously unexpressed, that is hidden within the list, using a method similar (if not identical) to that followed for the 4000ers.

The list in question includes 6 satellite peaks considered worthy to join the main 8000ers, i.e. (1) Broad Peak Central; (2) Yalung Kang (Kangchenjunga group); (3) Kangchenjunga South Peak;  (4) Lhotse Shar; (5) Lhotse Central Peak I (or Middle West Tower); (6) Kangchenjunga Central Peak. Note that the Slovakians also include the South (or South East) Peak of Makalu, at the time believed to be 8010 metres. Subsequently this peak has been ignored, see site [2] above – in particular the accurate Kielkowski guide assesses its height at 7803 m. Therefore I do not think it needs to be considered among the possible 8000ers.

As we shall shortly speak of the measured values of the various prominences of the 8000er satellites, I should say that the practical methods used to evaluate them are in general connected to photographs and the contour lines of the best maps, as well as naturally to the direct testimonies of those who have observed them close-up. Regarding Google Earth, it is easy to verify that the altimetry, especially in the high mountains, is somewhat approximate. If this inaccuracy were systematic, when I calculate the difference in height between a peak and a col (that is connected to the prominence), this difference would eliminate the systematic error on the two absolute values and all would be well. Unfortunately I have seen that, in many cases, this is not so, for which reason I am reluctant to use Google Earth. Note that even for the prominences listed in site [2] above, only maps and photographs, and not Google Earth, are used.

At this point let us look at Table 1, drawn from site [2] above, in which prominence data is collected for various 8000er satellite peaks (naturally the prominence values are a point on which the 8000er climbers could give useful opinions).

TABLE 1

PEAK

PROMINENCE

 (metres)

PEAK

PROMINENCE

(metres)

 

 

 

 

Broad Peak Central

181

Annapurna East Peak

50

Kangchenjunga West Peak (or Yalung Kang)

135

Yalung Shoulder

40

Kangchenjunga South Peak

116

Lhotse Central Peak II

37

Lhotse Shar

72

K2 P. 8134 (SW-Ridge)

35

Lhotse Central Peak I

65

Annapurna Central Peak

30

Kangchenjunga Central Peak

63

K2 SE Peak

30

 

 

Everest West Peak 

30

 

 

Kangchenjunga SE Peak

30

 

 

Nanga Parbat South Peak

30

 

 

Shisha Pangma Central Peak

30

 

 

Everest NE Pinnacle II

25

 

 

Everest NE Shoulder

19

 

 

Everest NE Pinnacle III

13

 

 

Lhotse N Pinnacle II

12

 

 

Lhotse N Pinnacle I

10

 

 

Lhotse N Pinnacle III

10

 

As you can see in the Table, the six 8000ers proposed as true peaks by the 43 Slovakians (on the left) have prominences ranging from 63 to 181 m. In the second column are the excluded peaks that have prominences ranging from 50 m to very low values for the minor gendarmes.

It is immediately apparent that there is a singular connection between those peaks considered true 8000ers by the 43 Slovakians and the peaks which have prominences greater than the critical band between 50 and 63 m (centred therefore on a value of about 60m).

It is notable too, looking at the group of 8000ers proposed by the 43 Slovakians and the other peaks that have been discarded, that there are no cases of peaks being accepted with prominences lower than those of the excluded peaks. In other words, the prominence values account entirely for the distinction between the two groups of peaks. Another significant point is that, in site [2] above, the prominence value of 60 m has been chosen to separate categories of mountains of varying importance (categories B and C, more important above 60 m of prominence, category D under that value). Finally, a further positive point, these results eliminate the problem of the simple gendarmes, a problem that recurs often among mountaineers (personally I recall the disputes about the Grand Gendarme of the Weisshorn being a 4000er, subsequently it was excluded from the list). In general the simple gendarme, entirely assimilated to the mass of the mother mountain, should not be considered a peak, regardless of its prominence, such discussions have always been nebulous and of little use because decisions can rarely be taken according to rational, and not personal, criteria. Well, in the current case, this possible source of dispute does not arise because the large family of gendarmes and spurs are all relegated to the group of the excluded peaks (something that I personally agree with), not because of personal disputes but on the basis of an easily verifiable criterion, that of prominence.

In conclusion the Slovakian list would seem to offer a solid and realistic base for our purposes. Therefore it seems to me to be quite justified to propose, as the critical value for topographic acceptance of the true 8000ers, a prominence of about 60 m.

It is clear that if the critical value of 60 m of prominence is accepted, the six peaks listed in the left part of Table 1 enter automatically into a preliminary list of possible new 8000ers. A curiosity: the prominences of the 14 original 8000ers are much greater than 60 m – the smallest is that of Lhotse at 610 m. The risk of having to remove one of the original peaks from our list is avoided!

Lastly, even if the problem of the gendarmes fortunately should not concern us further, it must however be said that that the distance of the gendarme from the mother peak represents an extension of the topographic criterion from the height difference to the horizontal difference, and this horizontal difference is important in certain cases. For example, as we will see shortly, for the two satellite peaks of Annapurna, that will be evaluated on the basis of the mountaineering criterion, their significant horizontal difference can be a valid measure of their independence from the mother peak and can help us in deciding on their acceptance or rejection.

(6)  Mountaineering criterion.  This is obviously an important criterion for us, and could be useful above all when a possible 8000er, rejected on a topographic basis, excited a lively mountaineering interest. The mountaineering criterion is obviously related to climbing the peak in question, whether that concerns the quantity of ascents or the quality of the routes on it. But on all the climbing routes that can be considered, priority should be given, in my opinion, to those routes than can be defined as specific routes, those climbing routes that terminate on the peak, those routes used by  mountaineers that have considered the peak an end in itself and therefore autonomous in a mountaineering sense. If the peak in question, regardless of the first criterion, gained a positive evaluation on this second criterion, it could still be inserted in the list of the true 8000ers.

We should not give however, in my opinion, an excessive importance to the mountaineering criterion, as has happened in earlier articles in which this criterion claimed all the space and relegated the topographic criterion to second place. Let us not forget that a peak is an objective reality, a protuberance that rises above the ground surrounding it and exists independently of the routes marked out on it. Therefore it seems right to me to use the mountaineering criterion as the secondary consideration.

Another question on the mountaineering criterion. In general, in earlier articles in which a peak’s mountaineering importance was evaluated, the routes already marked out were considered. This approach puts us on tricky ground. Every time an important new route was opened, perhaps one that we have already defined to be specific to the peak, we would have to make changes to our list and the list would lose meaning and value. In other words the mountaineering criterion, considered in this way, becomes a moving target and therefore unreliable and a source of confusion. Much better, if you ask me, to consider the general mountaineering value of a peak, in the sense of evaluating its mountaineering interest, whether for the routes already open or for possible routes still to be opened, for example on evident and definite pillars or spurs, routes that appear enticing and have not yet been traced only because they exceed the technical level reached up to this point. In this way the mountaineering criterion can also become a fixed criterion, if it is tied to the structure of the mountain and therefore of great utility and solidity, just like the topographic criterion.

IN CONCLUSION. According to the criteria expounded above, the procedure to follow to accept or not an 8000er into the group of the true peaks is ultimately quite simple (at least as a procedure). First step: if the topographic criterion of prominence is favourable, the peak is accepted with no further consideration. In the case of prominence a little under the prescribed minimum or if there is a particular mountaineering interest, we pass to the mountaineering criterion. This, if favourable, can let the peak pass into the accepted list. Finally, if there is a negative outcome to both criteria, the peak must be discarded.

(7)  This is a possible list of peaks of 8000 m that could join the true and accepted 8000ers. It is a list that makes no claims, useful more than anything else for looking at the applicability of the criteria outlined above, nothing more.

Broad Peak Central,  Kangchenjunga West Peak (or Yalung Kang),  Kangchenjunga South Peak, Lhotse Shar, Lhotse Central Peak I, Kangchenjunga Central Peak: they would pass the tests outlined above.

Annapurna East Peak,  Annapurna Central Peak: they do not meet the topographic criteria (the first of the two failing only by a few metres) and nor are they accepted by the 43 Slovakian 8000er climbers. But, as well as the significant distance of these two peaks, both from each other and from the principal peak (a favourable fact because it witnesses to their independence, even if we have not proposed this as a true and proper criterion), in this case it may be right to consider the mountaineering criterion. We could then observe that the routes traced on the North and South faces (Himalayan Index), and also further possible routes on the South face with its great spurs and buttresses, could make the case for adding these two peaks to the list.

Other comments.

Broad Peak group: Forepeak and Broad Tooth (not cited in site [2] above). The first is a summit feature without significant character whereas Broad Tooth is a spur almost indistinguishable from the main body of the mountain. Not worth pursuing.

Everest S Peak: (absent in site [2] above). From good photos taken with people in them, a prominence of about 30 m is evident. Does not meet the topographic criterion.

There remains the East summit of Manaslu, 8013 m, almost never cited among the possible 8000ers, nor is it cited in site [2] above (see photo on last page). Given that the altitude of 8013 m has not been contradicted by more recent measurements (see the case of the Makalu SE peak) and considering the difference between 8163 and 8013 m (150 m), it is possible that its prominence exceeds 60 m (see photo). But it appears to me that the Manaslu pyramid is a unit that reaches 8163 m, and that the East summit is a gendarme not sufficiently independent from the principal pyramid. This of course is only my opinion.

In conclusion, according to this list, there would be eight other 8000ers possibly to add to the 14 main ones. Note: the same eight had already been mentioned as possible true 8000ers in an article of the CISDAE (Italian Centre for Study and Documentation on Extra-European Mountaineering) in  the Scarpone (magazine of Club Alpino Italiano) of October 2006.

Problem of nomenclature. If our project should ever reach the UIAA, it is worth noting that (i) there is often more than one name for the peaks of the various satellite 8000ers (and not only the satellites) and (ii) such names are often hybrids between the local language and the cardinal points in English. For example, I like a name like Lhotse Shar but a local name mixed with South, North, West, etc, does not appeal. This will get sorted out in time.

So do you want to climb 22 peaks above 8000 meteres?

Mountaineers

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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By Recreation Law  Rec-law@recreation-law.com      James H. Moss         Jim Moss

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Via Ferrata recall – Press Release

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PRESS RELEASE Second wave of via ferrata set recalls within six monthsConsiderable deficiencies found in many via ferrata sets25 February 2013, BERN, Switzerland: A group of manufacturers has issued a recall of certain via ferrata sets following a meeting of the UIAA (International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) Safety Commission in Munich, Germany.Following a comprehensive test programme conducted on used or aged rope friction based via ferrata sets, the climbing industry has found that some of these sets can fail in a fall situation.The testing showed that the impact force in a fall may be increased and that the tensile strength of the lanyards may also be reduced in such a way that it could result in a full failure of the via ferrata set.

Severe injury or death may be the consequence.

The level of the risk is dependent upon the specific model. Therefore each rope friction based via ferrata set owner should consult the information provided by the manufacturer of the set.

Via Ferrata Release photo
Rope-friction based via ferrata set (Source: Deutscher Aplenverein DAV)

Please Click Here to View List of Affected Models

The recall is the second alert about via ferrata sets in the past six months.

There was a worldwide warning issued by the the UIAA on 13 September 2012. It followed a fatal accident on 5 August 2012 on a via ferrata in the vicinity of Walchsee in Tirol, Austria where a climber fell several meters and both lanyards on the energy-absorbing devices (EAS), also known as klettersteig sets, broke.

Changes have now been proposed to UIAA standard 128 for via ferrata sets. These will be up for a discussion and approval at the next UIAA Safety Commission meeting in May 2013.

About the UIAA Safety CommissionThe UIAA Safety Commission is made up national delegates from alpine clubs, manufacturers who submit to the UIAA Safety Standard and UIAA laboratories which conduct safety tests on behalf of the commission. The commission maintains a database of certified equipment and recalls.The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 80 member associations in 50 countries representing about 1.3 million people.The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of mountaineering and climbing worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.The UIAA operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee for mountaineering and natural surface climbing.Press contacts: Please email safetylabel
UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing FederationMonbijoustrasse 61 Postbach CH-3000 Bern 23 Switzerland

By Recreation Law          Rec-law@recreation-law.com   James H. Moss                  Jim Moss


Goldwin Korea to sponsor the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour

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PRESS RELEASE Goldwin Korea to sponsor the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour 12 December 2012, BERN, Switzerland: The UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation has signed a sponsorship agreement with Goldwin Korea, the official license partner of The North Face in Korea, starting with the 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour.The agreement involves a long-term commitment by the UIAA and Goldwin Korea to champion and develop the sport of competitive ice climbing.”An agreement such as this one is a sign of confidence that the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour which has been growing in popularity over the years is a top notch international event,” said UIAA president Frits Vrijlandt. “We are ready to take the sport to the next level and the support of a major company such as Goldwin Korea will ensure this happens.”Kihak Sung who is Chief Executive Officer of Goldwin Korea said the sponsorship agreement with the UIAA is an evolution of the company’s continued and proud support of a number of Korean climbers and explorers since 1997.”I am very delighted that we will support global climbers as sponsor company of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour series from 2013 to 2018,” said Sung. “I also look forward to the ongoing success of all UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour events.”

Sung who sent a video message to the UIAA General Assembly last month said that he is especially enthusiastic that the first stop in the 2013 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup tour will be in Cheongsong, Korea and he is looking forward to meeting ice climbers from all over the world.

Cotenders Women 2

Angelika Rainer – Italy, Shin Woon Seon – Korea and Maria Shabalina-Tolokonina – Russia (Photo: UIAA)

The 2013 tour dates are:

  • Cheongsong, Korea (12 – 13 January, 2013): UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup (Lead and Speed) & World Championship (Lead) Saas-Fee, Switzerland (18 – 19 January, 2013): UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup (Lead and Speed)
  • Rabenstein, Italy (26 – 27 January, 2013): UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup (Lead and Speed)
  • Busteni, Romania (7 – 9 February, 2013): UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup (Lead and Speed)
  • Kirov, Russia (8 – 10 March, 2013): UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup (Lead and Speed) & World Championship (Speed)

The promotional video for the 2013 competition which was recently released by the UIAA can be found here.

In addition to the usual tour, a new event, the UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championship will be held in Saas Grund, Switzerland 12 – 13 January, 2013 simultaneously with the Cheongsong competition.

The 2012 tour saw 209 athletes from 27 countries compete in the Lead and Speed disciplines.

In Speed, competitors climb up an artificial ice wall in the fastest time while in the Lead discipline athletes are judged on their ability to climb a difficult route in the best time.

There are two types of winners; those who win each phase of the competition and overall winners based on the total points accumulated after events in Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Romania and Russia where the tour concludes on 10 March 2013.

The UIAA Ice Climbing Commission has added Rabenstein (Italy), which has experience holding ice climbing competitions, as a new venue for the 2013 competitions calendar. Additional requests from organizers for competitions to be held in the U.S.A. and Russia are under consideration.

Mr. Sung

Kihak Sung of Goldwin Korea (Photo: Goldwin Korea)

About Goldwin Korea

Goldwin Korea is the official license partner of The North Face in Korea. Goldwin Korea launched The North Face in Korea in 1997 and The North Face is now the leading outdoor brand in Korea.


About The North Face

The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.

About the UIAA

The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 80 member associations in 50 countries representing about 1.3 million people. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of mountaineering and climbing worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee for mountaineering and natural surface climbing.

UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup FranceUIAA Ice Climbing World Cup FranceUIAA Ice Climbing World Cup France
TNF Logo Square UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing FederationMonbijoustrasse 61 Postbach CH-3000 Bern 23 Switzerland
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UIAA Event Schedule

Here is the current UIAA Even Calendar

12 Jan 2013 to 13 Jan 2013

Ice climbing

Ice Climbing World Cup (Lead, Speed) & World Championship (Lead)
Cheongsong, Korea

12 Jan 2013 to 13 Jan 2013
Ice Climbing World Youth Championship
Saas-Grund, Switzerland (lead, speed)

18 Jan 2013 to 19 Jan 2013
Ice Climbing World Cup
Saas-Fee, Switzerland (lead, speed)

26 Jan 2013 to 27 Jan 2013
Ice Climbing World Cup
Rabenstein, Italy (lead, speed)

07 Feb 2013 to 09 Feb 2013
Ice Climbing World Cup
Busteni, Romania (lead, speed)

08 Mar 2013 to 10 Mar 2013
Ice Climbing World Cup (Lead, Speed) & World Championship (Speed)
Kirov, Rusia

The schedule is online at UIAA Calendar

What do you think? Leave a comment.

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FaceBook, Twitter or LinkedIn

Copyright 2012 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law

Email: blog@rec-law.us

Twitter: RecreationLaw

Facebook: Rec.Law.Now

Facebook Page: Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Travel Law

Blog: www.recreation-law.com

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Worldwide warning to users of via ferrata sets

PRESS RELEASE Worldwide warning to users of via ferrata sets

13 September 2012, BERN, Switzerland: The UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation is issuing a worldwide warning to users of via ferrata sets to check the websites of manufacturers in order to find out whether the unit they are using is safe.

The warning follows a fatal accident on 5 August 2012 on a via ferrata in the vicinity of Walchsee in Tirol, Austria where a climber fell several meters and both lanyards on the energy-absorbing devices (EAS), also known as klettersteig sets, broke.

The manufacturer of the set carried out an investigation after the accident. The probe found that that the lanyard’s strength was dramatically affected after intensive use not only because of its specific construction but also due to the material used.

UIAA Safety Commission decisions

A meeting of the Safety Commission took place on 6 September 2012 in Bern, Switzerland, to review the accident because the via ferrata unit involved met safety standards as set out by the UIAA Safety Commission. The meeting was attended by national delegates, representatives of 16 manufacturers and UIAA laboratories in France and the Czech Republic.

As a result of the meeting:

  • Users are strongly advised to visit the website of the manufacturer to check if their via ferrata set is safe to use
  • A decision was also made to review UIAA 128, the safety standard used to test via ferrata sets. The last review of this standard took place in 2008 when a wet test was added. The goal of the review is to update the existing standard for via ferrata sets that will include fatigue testing.

The companies that attended the UIAA Safety Commission meeting were DMM, Edelrid, Petzl, Skylotec, AustriAlpin, Mammut, Salewa, Climbing Technology, Grivel, Beal, Ocun, Lanex, Singing Rock, Camp Cassin and Simond.

The UIAA Safety Commission is made up national delegates from alpine clubs, manufacturers who submit to the UIAA Safety Standard and UIAA laboratories which conduct safety tests on behalf of the commission. The commission maintains a database of certified equipment and recalls.

About the UIAA

The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 80 member associations in 50 countries representing about 1.3 million people. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of mountaineering and climbing worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.

The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee for mountaineering and natural surface climbing.

Press contacts:

Jean Franck Charlet
UIAA Safety Commission
safetylabel@theuiaa.org

Gurdeepak Ahuja
UIAA Office
gurdeepak.ahuja@theuiaa.org

UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing FederationMonbijoustrasse 61 Postbach CH-3000 Bern 23 Switzerland
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Helmets: why cycling, skiing, skateboarding helmets don’t work

Thanks to Brad Waldron at Kali Protectives for giving me the visual to explain this.

A helmet needs to absorb energy to work. The more energy a helmet absorbs the more protection a helmet provides. If you look at the inside of your helmet

Bike helmet

what is there to absorb energy?

A helmet does not work by being a hard surface to protect your head from head injuries. Hard surfaces protect your head from pointed objects. Think Knights of the Round Table and spears and arrows. If you are riding a bike or skiing and someone is shooting arrows at you, you need a hard helmet.

Hitting the ground is different. Your brain bounces around inside your skill causing damage; a concussion. You need something to absorb the impact and soften the blow or extend the time the impact (force) is being applied to your head, which softens the blow. Helmets as they are currently used, do not do that.

Think about the issue this way. If you drop a weight on an egg, say 11 pounds from 4 feet the egg is going to smash. If you put a book on top of the egg and drop the 11-pound weight the egg is still going to smash. The amount of energy transmitted to the egg maybe reduced by the book; however, the energy reduction is not enough to protect the egg.

A Bicycle or ski helmet is the same way. There is some energy absorption, but not enough to protect your brain.

If you want to know why I picked 11 pounds from 4 feet that is the test for helmets. Watch Video of cycling helmet testing. No one is testing the force on the head, if the helmet absorbs any of the force, or if the impact broke your neck.

On top of that, always remember the helmet is tested with the impact landing in the center top of the helmet. When you fall to make sure you drive your head into the ground hitting the helmet in the center on top of your head to receive the maximum protection.

See for yourself. This is the UIAA (European) Test for Helmets.

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This test is for climbing and some European ski helmets. In the US, a bike helmet and ski helmets are not tested for lateral force, slippage or chin strap strength.

There are some organizations that test the helmets to greater extremes such as Consumer Reports, but all they are doing is testing the helmet. They are not looking at whether the helmet protects your head. See Consumer Reports Bike Helmet Testing.

We are not testing whether a helmet looks good after an impact. We are testing whether the helmet protects your head from an impact and the drop test does not test that sufficiently, if at all.

If you want to test this yourself, figure a way to stick an egg under a helmet and drop a weight on the helmet. The egg is still going to crack or break.

Yes, your head is not an egg. It is just easier to see the results with an egg. The helmet did not decrease the pressure enough to protect the egg. The injury still occurred. If you could take the time to measure the breaking strength of an egg and then start below that number and drop weights on the helmet you would see a difference eventually which would be the amount of protections the helmet provides. However, that number would be small and probably no different from what a plastic bowl would do.

If you really want to test this, go buy two eggs.  Drop one from 15 feet and see what happens to the egg. Tape the other one in your helmet and drop it from the same height. The egg will crack (and make a real mess in your helmet).

Want more laughs about this? Watch this video where a cardboard helmet does a better job of protecting your head, by absorbing more force, than a bicycle helmet. See Kranium helmet Crash Test

Yes, your head is not an egg. Yes, a helmet will protect you from minor hits. Yes, a helmet is probably better than not using a helmet, unless the process stops you from riding a bike or skiing. The health benefits of activity out weight the risk of a head injury.

If that is the case, then why not wear a helmet when you drive, shower or work in the kitchen. All three have a far greater risk of head injuries then cycling.

However, we have not looked at whether using helmets deters activities. See TEDxCopenhagen – Mikael Colville-Andersen – Why We Shouldn’t Bike with a Helmet. I love the fact the in the video Mr. Colville-Andersen lets you know that the helmet tests were designed for pedestrians wearing helmets. Also he points out that helmet laws do not reduce head injuries. They reduce the total number of people riding bikes, which results in a reduction of head injuries.

Nor have we looked at the issue of the advertised protection versus the real protection afforded by a helmet.

Finally, we have not looked at whether wearing a helmet makes you react in a way to protect other parts of your body rather than your head. If you fall you natural protect your head. Your arms go out to keep your head form hitting the ground and then your cradle your head from being hit or hitting the ground. This accounts for tons of videos and statements when people hold up their battered helmet and say my helmet saved my life.

However, a helmet will not save your life. If you want to be cool and have a helmet that might protect your head watch this video: Hövding krocktest

But without bike and ski helmets where would we mount our video cameras?

References:

"Hairnet" helmet

Gourley, Jim, Bicycle Times August 1, 2011, Pull Your Head Out of Your…Helmet

Kim Gorgens: Protecting the brain against concussion

A.J. Jacobs: How healthy living nearly killed me

TEDxCopenhagen – Mikael Colville-Andersen – Why We Shouldn’t Bike with a Helmet

Other Articles on Helmets:

A father of a deceased skier pushing for a helmet law in New Jersey.

A helmet manufacture understands the issues(Uvex, Mouthguards)

A new idea that makes sense in helmets: the Bern Hard Hat

California bill to require helmets on skiers and boarders under age 18 dies lacking governor’s signature.

Does being safe make us stupid? Studies say yes.

Great article on why helmet laws are stupid

Great editorial questioning why we need laws to “protect” us from ourselves.

Helmet death ignited by misconception and famous personalities

Helmets do not increase risk of a neck injury when skiing

I could not make my son wear a helmet so I’m going to make you wear one

I once thought you had to take an IQ test to run to be a state legislator. You could run only if you flunk the test

Mixed emotions, but a lot of I told you so.

More information over the debate about ski helmets: Ski Helmets ineffective crashes were the wear is going faster than 12 miles per hour

National Sporting Goods Association reports that Helmet use at US Ski Areas increased during the 2009-10 ski season

OSHA Officially recommending helmets for ski area employees

Other Voice on the Helmet Debate

Recent UK poll shows that 10% of cyclists would quite biking if there was a compulsory helmet law.

Skiing/Boarding Helmets and what is the correct message

Survey of UK physicians shows them against mandatory bicycle helmet laws.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

Copyright 2012 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law

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Twitter: RecreationLaw

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