UIAA condemns building of hotel in South Africa protected area

The UIAA Access and Mountain Protection Commissions have condemned the development of a luxury hotel in South Africa’s Magaliesberg Protected Environment (MPE). The construction of the Kgaswane Country Lodge is being fought by the Magaliesberg Protection Association (MPA), which is supported by other organisations including the Mountain Club of South Africa. A review hearing is set to take place on May 5 and 6. In a letter sent to Edna Molewa, South Africa’s Minister of Water Resources and Environmental Affairs, the...

Greenland and Mount Logan climbs recognised with Piolets d’Or

Two climbs have been awarded the 2011 Piolets d'Or: Greenland Big Walls Expedition and Mount Logan South East Face. The following text is from the organising committee of the prestigious award, which is supported by French, American, British and Italian alpine clubs - all member federations of the UIAA: The jury, presided over by Greg Child, has come together to deliberate on the six expeditions selected for the 19th edition of the Piolets d’Or. The selection was made from...

Doug Scott: Embodying the spirit of modern Alpinism

British climber Doug Scott tells the UIAA about his contributions to mountaineering, the challenge of preserving traditional climbing and the importance of the Piolets d’Or award for encouraging innovation and exploration. Scott is the 2011 recipient of the Piolets d’Or Lifetime Contribution Award – only the third climber to have been given the honour, after Walter Bonatti (2009) and Reinhold Messner (2010). He spoke to the UIAA ahead of the Piolets d’Or ceremony on 16 April in Courmayeur, Italy....

UIAA signs MoU with Peace and Sport

The UIAA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based organisation that promotes peace through sport in poor areas of the world. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the SportAccord meeting in London on April 5 by UIAA Vice President, Jordi Colomer, and Peace and Sport (P&S) founder and president, Joel Bouzou. “The UIAA has a firm belief that mountains are areas of peace and respect for nature. The practice of...

Korea and Russia leave mark on 2011 Ice Climbing season

The 2011 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup, which ended on March 8 with competitions in Kirov, Russia, will be remembered for the entrance of Korea and its athletes on the world stage. While Russian athletes continued to dominate the Speed discipline and perform strongly in Lead, all eyes were on the first event of the year held in January in Cheongsong, Korea since it was the first time the World Cup series had ever been held in...

Female Pakistani climber inspires women and youth

Mountaineering exploits by a Pakistani woman, Samina Baig, have been hailed as inspiring for women and youth of the country. Pakistan’s Minister for Sports, Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, congratulated Baig on her achievements which he said were unheard of in Pakistan. He assured the participants at a meeting in his office in Islamabad in early February that the Pakistani government “will extend every possible support for the promotion of mountaineering in Pakistan”. Attending the meeting were Baig,...

Tribute to the late Indian mountaineer, Balwant Sandhu

ndian mountaineer Balwant Sandhu died recently in a road accident. Sandhu climbed and trekked for over 50 yrs in most ranges of the Himalayas. He was principal of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering Uttarkashi for Five years (1980-85). He was president of the Himalayan Club [1983-84) and Vice President of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (197-98). He was a life member of the Central Himalayan Environment Association, the Himalayan Club, and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. In 2001...

First braking devices receive Safety Label

Petzl’s GriGri2 and four pieces of equipment from Black Diamond have become the first braking devices to be certified by the UIAA and can now bear the UIAA Safety Label – the only certification for braking devices worldwide. The Black Diamond devices are: ATC, ATC-Guide, ATC-XP, ATC-Sport. The UIAA Safety Commission has pushed back the date when the standard takes effect; it is now July 1, 2011. The decision to push back the date was taken due to minor modifications...

Sweden moves forward on Access issues

The Swedish Climbing Federation (SKF) has produced a sign on Right of Public Access that it will put up at crags throughout the country in 2011, in cooperation with local clubs. Through its Access Commission, the UIAA supports such moves by mountaineering federations to introduce Best Practices. In the following article, Jonas Paulsson of the SKF says climbing is becoming more popular in Sweden, both among Swedes and foreign visitors and he explains what impact this popularity growth has on...

We have all been waiting for this – Ice Climbing athletes

The men and women winners of the opening Ice Climbing World Cup event of 2011, held in Cheongsong, Korea, talk about winning, Korean hospitality and the challenge presented by the climbing structure. Can you describe what it is to win an event that is held for the first time in Asia? “I am happy. I could not complete the route, and that makes me sad. But still, I am always happy when I win.” Markus Bendler, men’s Lead winner “The event...