MedCom to discuss Everest deaths, mountain medicine

The UIAA Medical Commission will tackle an array of topics at its meeting in Nepal from November 15 to 17. The talks will range from a review of deaths on Everest climbs to a discussion of care for altitude sickness. The commission, a panel of doctors from around the globe who specialise in mountain medicine, participates in research on and promotes education about health-related issues in mountaineering. Dr. Buddha Basnyat, president of the UIAA Medical Commission, says a...

Supplemental oxygen to be taken off prohibited list

The use of supplemental oxygen will be removed from the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) list of prohibited methods as of January 1, 2010. It was also made known at a high-level meeting in Madrid in mid-September that the UIAA is fully compliant with WADA rules. The draft of WADA’s 2010 Prohibited List was discussed at the meeting of CAHAMA, the Ad hoc European Committee for the World Anti-Doping Agency. The WADA Executive approved the list at a meeting...

Japanese climbers denied access to Bugyai Kangri in Tibet

Japanese climbing team says it was turned away by locals from attempting a first ascent of Bugyai Kangri (6,328m) despite having received official permission from the Chinese authorities. The climbers, through the UIAA, want to raise awareness of permit issues in the sensitive border area in Tibet for other alpinists considering visiting the region. According to Takao Ohe, lead climber of the five-member group from Tohoku University Alpine Club, the team had received formal approval for the...

Safety standard for braking devices published

The UIAA Safety Commission has published the first-ever safety standard for braking devices. It lays out performance parameters and testing procedures for belaying and abseiling devices. The purpose of the new standard is to give climbers and mountaineers confidence that these critical pieces of gear meet the UIAA’s strict safety criteria. Manufacturers meeting the standard can now apply for the new label, and if certified, can display it on rope braking devices from September 30, 2009. “The...

New code lays out ethics and best practices

The UIAA is updating a mountain code, putting into ink mountaineering’s longstanding values of good sportsmanship, respect for cultures and care for the environment. The draft code is intended to reach all who love mountain sport, from the hut-to-hut hiker to the expedition alpinist. It also addresses some of the biggest debates in mountaineering today, such as the use of bottled oxygen on 8,000-meter-peak attempts. The intent, say mountaineers involved in the process, is to create a document...

New partnership between UIAA and AISTS

The world’s largest climbing and mountaineering organisation and a leading sport academic centre are joining forces to collaborate on education programmes, research and personnel training. On Wednesday, July 15, the UIAA signed a cooperation agreement with the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS), a centre of sport education and research based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The UIAA is the first world sport governing body to enter such an agreement with the AISTS. The UIAA has a longstanding...

Latest advice on neurological disorders and medical contracts

he documents on the disorders and contracts for expedition doctors are the latest in a series of recommendation papers published by the UIAA Medical Commission. The “Travel to Altitude with Neurological Disorders” paper looks at different neurological conditions and the problems they may cause at altitude. It assesses the affects altitude may have on the conditions and provides advice on whether or not they are likely to worsen. Migraines, transient ischemia of the brain, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular disorders and...

Pit Schubert receives UIAA honour at OutDoor trade fair

Engineer and mountaineer Pit Schubert was honoured by the UIAA and DAV (German Alpine Club) on July 16 at the OutDoor trade fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The international federation and German club chose to put the spotlight on Schubert for his lifetime contributions to making mountaineering and climbing safer. The German climber played a major role in establishing the UIAA Safety Label, recognised as the world's leading standard for mountaineering equipment. "When I started my work on safety...

First-ever safety standard for braking devices

For the first time, the UIAA has developed a series of tests for braking devices designed to give climbers and mountaineers confidence that these critical pieces of gear meet the federation’s strict safety criteria. The UIAA Safety Commission adopted a draft of the first-ever safety standard for braking devices at its May meeting in Golden, Colorado. The standard, which will be published and available from September 30, 2009, lays out performance parameters and testing procedures for...