Safety Commission to answer questions about standards and your climbing and mountaineering equipment

27 May, 2014

UIAA Safety Standards cover a wide range of climbing and mountaineering equipment (Photo: UIAA)

If you’ve ever had a question about UIAA safety standards as it relates to your climbing and mountaineering equipment, now is the time to ask.

The Safety Commission has launched a question-and-answer process about the world-renowned UIAA Safety Standards which have been developed by mountaineers and climbers for the mountaineering and climbing community.

This makes them the most acceptable standards world-wide and is the result of collaboration with the European Standards organization, CEN, for harmonization of standards. In some cases, the UIAA asks for additional tests making the standard stricter than the CEN. Thus, the UIAA standards may differ slightly from the CEN standards.

"Although the standards for climbing equipment produced by the UIAA Safety Commission provide clear tests to which the equipment is subject, the relationship between the standard, the equipment, and the use of the equipment by climbers can be less clear,” said commission president Dave Custer.

"The answers to these frequently asked questions fill in gaps between the equipment standards and sound practices for the use of the equipment. The intent is to make the physics, experimental data, and accident data available to the climbing community so that climbers can better understand and use equipment to manage the risk inherent in their sport.”

The standards cover ropes, accessory cords, tape, slings, harnesses, helmets, karabiners, pitons, rock anchors, chocks, frictional anchors, rope clamps, pulleys, energy absorbing systems, braking devices, ice anchors, ice tools, crampons and snow anchors.

If you have a question, please submit it to safetylabel@theuiaa.org and Dave and his team of experts in the commission will endeavour to answer them.