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Continued evolution of the UIAA Safety Label in China

The UIAA Safety Label extends its international reach.

UIAA Safety Commission member Jean-Franck Charlet was recently invited by the Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) to assist in the construction of an official UIAA safety laboratory in Beijing, the second of its kind on the Asian continent.

The laboratory will be built inside a huge artificial climbing structure, some 48m high and 150m wide, a veritable mountain in its own right.

The new laboratory will allow the CMA to test all mountain equipment according to the UIAA Standards and, in parallel, develop their own initiatives and projects.

A schematic of the proposed UIAA Safety laboratory in China

A schematic of the proposed UIAA Safety laboratory in China

China is experiencing a significant development in its mountaineering and climbing culture. Many western companies are now sub-contracting the manufacturing of equipment in the country. Furthermore, leading Chinese companies are focusing on producing their own equipment. The construction of a dedicated laboratory in China can therefore be viewed as a fundamental, and logical, development.

The UIAA Safety Label was once very Eurocentric. In recent years nearly all the major North American manufacturers have joined the UIAA Safety Commission and have requested access to the Label. This future laboratory in China, will likewise help drive requests for the UIAA Safety Label on the Asian continent and reinforce the worldwide recognition of the Label and the UIAA itself.

During this same trip, Jean-Franck Charlet audited a laboratory in Shanghai which is in the process of applying to become a UIAA laboratory for the testing all the equipment made from metal (comprising connectors, rope-clamps, pitons, ice screws)

Last year a laboratory in Guangzhou was successfully audited after its applied to test mountaineering helmets.

Report by Jean-Franck Charlet, UIAA Safety Commission