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The UIAA has made several illustrious mountaineers and climbers honorary members over the years.
From Sir Edmund Hillary to Ang Tshering Sherpa, these people have made outstanding contributions to the international mountaineering community, and not only for exceptional climbing feats, but for their dedication to environmental, safety, training and other key issues that have made mountaineering the sport it is today.
Sir Edmund HILLARY, KG, KBE
Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008) developed his interest in mountaineering after a school trip at age 16. After finishing school he became a beekeeper, a summer job which he combined with winter climbing. His first major climb was Mount Olivier in the Southern Alps of New Zealand in 1939. Read more
Walter Bonatti was born on 22nd June, 1930 in Bergamo, Italy. His first big ascent was the north face of the Grandes Jorasses, Pointe Walker in the Mount Blanc range. When he was only 19 he started training to become a mountain guide. Read more
Robbert Leopold comes from the Netherlands and worked with and for the UIAA for a total of 27 years. He first became connected with the UIAA when he was Secretary General of the Royal Dutch Alpine Club (KNAV). In this position he was in charge of relations with mountaineering associations abroad and with the UIAA. Read more
William Lowell PUTNAM
William Lowell Putnam was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States in 1924 and studied geology at Harvard University. While attending college he volunteered to fight in the Second World War and was wounded in combat, suffering a serious chest injury. Read more
Jordi Pons-Sangines was elected by the UIAA General Assembly in 2007. He had spent 30 years as a dedicated volunteer for the UIAA, working hard to develop mountaineering sports and promote mountaineering around the world. Read more
Pit Schubert was born on 2nd December 1935 in Breslau. He started climbing at 17 and became one of the first Germans to scale the three classic big North faces of the Alps: Eiger, Matterhorn and Grand Jorasses. Read more
Kazuo Saito is the first Asian honorary member of the UIAA. He received the honour at the 2010 UIAA General Assembly. Saito initiated the establishment of the UAAA in 1993 to promote climbing in Asia and the UIAA's regional activities. Read more
Ang Tshering SHERPA
Ang Tshering Sherpa is a fomer president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association. He has been a strong advocate for mountain protection, sustainable development and the need for balance between commercial and non-commercial mountaineering activities. Read more