The UIAA believes that everyone should be able to freely walk and climb in mountains and other areas of environmental and recreational value. But sometimes access is restricted through war, landowner restrictions or regulation. The UIAA Access Commission understand that access rights must be balanced by responsibility and care for the mountain landscape, bio- and geo-diversity and the cultures and people of the mountains.


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Best Practices

These downloadable documents provide best practice information for climbing, mountaineering and walking access. The documents have been produced primarily by UIAA member federations such as the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and the Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada (FEDME). They are aimed at the general climber, others at land managers, and all of the documents can be used by activists and UIAA Member Federations as a basis for access work in their own countries and climbing areas.

Access and Conservation Strategies

Setting up working groups to resolve access issues can be an issue by itself. Here are some access and conservation strategies for climbing areas which involve setting up good communication systems to public access agreements and good practices.

Argeos Charter

The late Stefano Tirinzoni, a member of the UIAA Management Committee and Italian Alpine Club (CAI), was instrumental in creating the Argeos Charter, a simple set of guidelines for sustainable mountain tourism in countries where mountain tourism is still in its infancy.


Canyoning is a sporting activity that consists of making your way by walking and/or swimming along a series of canyons or ravines, torrential rivers or mountain streams, using specific techniques and your own resources. Some useful guidelines from FEDME about canyoning in protected areas.

Bouldering Poster

A fun poster by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) which lists the 10 commandments to follow while bouldering. Includes “Leave vegetation in place – no gardening please.”

Climbing Management Plan

The Access Fund is the only national advocacy organization whose mission keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. A 501(c)3 non-profi t supporting and representing over 1.6 million climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing—rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering—the Access Fund is the largest US climbing organization with over 15,000 members and affiliates.

Bird Restrictions Leaflet

The UK is internationally recognized for its wintering, migratory and nesting birds and for over 30 years the BMC has worked with conservation bodies to produce this informative climbing restrictions leaflet. There is a general acceptance amongst conservation bodies and landowners. Restrictions can change during the breeding period, and the BMC’s Regional Access Database (RAD) plays an important role in providing up-to-date information for climbers. The RAD is a searchable database of all the crags with special access and conservation considerations, including all the agreed nesting restrictions for England & Wales – why not log-on and check it out?

Climbing in Sweden

Some sound advice from the Swedish Climbing Federation. They hope you have a great day in front of you but remind you that you climbing is an activity that comes with great responsibility. The ground rule is: don’t disturb – don’t destroy.

Federation Policies

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) has produced a series of policies such as the ones on Environmental Policy, Climate Change Policy while the Scottish Mountaineering Council has produced an explanation on how climbing is conducted in Scotland.

Footpath Construction

The work of the British Upland Footpath Trust is to provide the highest standard of footpath work. This booklet draws together the expertise of craftsmen skilled in footpath construction and restoration in many different mountain settings across Britain.


UIAA Access Commission

The UIAA Access Commission works with international associations, and supports UIAA member federations and others to facilitate access to areas while being sensitive to environmental, social, legal and other considerations.

The Commission:

  • Promotes the freedom to practice mountaineering and climbing in a responsible manner as a fundamental human right.
  • Provides advice, with supporting documentation, on the relationship between mountaineering and climbing and environmental, social and legal considerations.
  • Encourages best practice in harmonising access with these considerations, and support member federations in challenging inappropriate restrictions.
  • Liaises with international organisations on access and conservation issues and provide assistance, when requested, to member federations on such issues within their own countries.
  • Fosters research in support of the commissions aims.
  • Provides regular articles on important issues to the UIAA Journal and other publications concerned with mountaineering and climbing issues.
  • Is present and represented at major international conference where access and conservation issues are discussed.

Access Commission Membership

As confirmed by the UIAA Management Committee in Brixen (Bressanone), Italy (October 2016)


Juan JESUS IBANEZ MARTIN (President), Spain (FEDME)

Lode BECKERS, Belgium (CMBEL)

Milosz JODLOWSKI, Poland (PZA)



Kika BRADFORD, Brazil

Joerg ERBERLAIN, Germany

Lucia FOPPOLI, Italy (CAI)

Mandip SINGH SOIN, India (IMF)



Ulrike KIEFER, South Africa (MCSA)

Lucia FOPPOLI, Italy (CAI)

Corresponding Members

Ismayil ASGAROV, Azerbaijan (AMF)

Hussein BAGIROV, Azerbaijan (FAIREX)


Jack BERGIN, Republic of Ireland (MI)

Nelson BRUGGER, Brazil (CBME)

Esteban DEGREGORI, Argentina (FASA)

Dr Catherine FLITCROFT, UK (BMC)

Hank HWANG, Taipei (CTMA)

Roy KENDALL, South Africa (MCSA)

Hitoshi ONODERA, Japan (JMA)

Boyan PETROV, Bulgaria (BCMF)


Richard Grant SHERRY, South Africa (MCSA)

Brian STEPHENSON, New Zealand (NZAC)

UIAA Executive Board Link

Peter Farkas

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