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

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