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Youth develop more than mountaineering skills
24 Oct 2009
Global Youth Summit events were held throughout Europe, as well as in Africa and Asia in 2009. They brought together young mountaineers from an array of cultural backgrounds. Excellent attendance, along with a wide range of activities on offer, illustrated the success and strength of these events.
Global Youth Summit events aim to develop participants’ climbing and mountaineering skills, but there is also a focus on cultural learning and the environment. The events give young mountaineers an opportunity to visit various regions of the world, develop skills, make friends and share unique experiences.
Some of the 2009 highlights included a youth climbing and hiking camp in Romania. While there, participants from Greece, South Korea, Italy and Romania explored the Bicaz Gorges National Park. They spent the week climbing on Jurassic limestone, hiking in perfect weather and visiting monasteries and Transylvania.
The organisers also took their environmental responsibility seriously and organised some site cleaning in the mountain resort of Lacu Rosu.
The Climbing Federation of Russia oversaw a variety of climbing and mountaineering activities in south Russia (Guamka) and the western Caucasus (Mount Fisht).
The events included a school for beginners, bouldering and climbing competitions, developing a new climbing area in Guamka and ascending Mount Fisht.
In South Africa, a group trekked in the Central Borg region of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Youth from the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and South Africa went back to basics with a tent camp and limited resources.
Despite changeable weather, the group managed some adventurous trekking and bouldering. There was a focus on experiencing new cultures and exploring rock art history during the event, but the biggest accomplishments were improving mountaineering techniques and making new friends from around the world.
Bad weather stopped a group from reaching the summit of Mt. Kazbek in Georgia. Participants from Ukraine, Sweden, Norway, Tajikistan, Latvia and Iran spent two days hiking to the Meteo Station at 3600m. Here, they waited a further five days for an opportunity that never came to summit the mountain.
Fereidoun Forghani, from Iran, believes they made up for the disappointment by building friendships and joking around. He pointed out that although they did not reach their goal, they took the opportunity to visit many places in Georgia, and thinks “it's totally a mistake to travel to countries for climbing, without seeing anything else. Mountains are good but not enough!”
Global Youth Summit events aim to promote cooperation between countries and highlight the protection of the environment. They are organised by Member Federations of the UIAA, which provides guidelines and recommendations. If you are interested in organising a Global Youth Summit event go here.
For past events see the GYS Calendar.
Events for 2010 will be posted as soon as information is available.