Exemplary eco-efficiency shown again on Mt. Everest

The UIAA Mountain Protection Commission has praised the efforts of the members of the Eco Everest Expedition 2009 for highlighting environmentally friendly practices in mountaineering. For the second year in a row, the expedition - lead by Dawa Steven Sherpa - displayed eco-sensitive, cost-effective ways of climbing the mountain last month. The team’s aim was also to raise awareness of the threat global warming poses to the Himalayas. Linda McMillan, president of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, congratulated the...

Urgent action needed to prevent deaths among Himalayan pilgrims

The UIAA Medical Commission says better education is urgently required to prevent the deaths of pilgrims going to high altitudes in the Himalayas. High-altitude sickness may have been responsible for the deaths of at least eight Indian pilgrims over the past couple of weeks during the pilgrimage to the Kailash Manasarovar area, located at 4,560 metres above sea level near the Nepal-Tibet border. “Because pilgrims typically ascend very rapidly by helicopter, planes or vehicles, they are unable...

Executive tackles reform and new Mountain Code

The UIAA is moving forward on issues of key concern to the world’s mountaineering community. At the recent meeting in Plas Y Brenin in Wales, the Management Committee took action on the reform of UIAA commissions, drafting a “Mountain Code” on ethics and best practices, and examining the role of the UIAA in the Olympic Movement. The Management Committee (executive level responsible for policy implementation) agreed to merge the Access and Expeditions commissions to improve effectiveness. Clare...

Medical Commission gives advice on contraception at altitude

The document, the latest part of a series of recommendation papers by the commission, is a valuable source of information for women going on expeditions, especially to altitude. It provides the most up-to-date information on the topic. (see "Advice and Recommendations" page). A lot of women using contraceptives on expeditions, or at altitude, are doing so in order to control or regulate their menstruation cycle, and not just for contraceptive reasons. This document has been produced...

Mountaineering Commission investigates training, accident issues

Training programmes, climbing accidents and traditional values were discussed at the recent Mountaineering Commission meeting in Chamonix, France. During the meeting delegates evaluated the work of the commission and its two working groups: the Training Standards Group and Legal Experts Working Group. A number of key topics were discussed at the event, including the recent collaboration between the commission and the Petzl Foundation. The aim of this union is to assist developing countries to establish national leader...

Classic routes highlight of Russian meet

Climbing on the impressive traverses of the Bezengi wall and the Northern Array will be the main events of an Open International Mountaineering Meet set in Central Caucasus, Russia. The meet is organised from July 25 Climbing on the impressive traverses of the Bezengi wall and the Northern Array will be the main events of an Open International Mountaineering Meet set in Central Caucasus, Russia. The meet is organised from July 25 - August 8 on the...

Young Sherpas race to raise awareness of glacial lake floods

Young Sherpa conservationists are organising a race on June 18 to draw attention to the devastating effects of Global Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) in the Himalayas. The The Beat the GLOF Action Run will be the highlight of the Imja Tsho Action Event 2009, and has been initiated by Nepali mountaineer  Dawa Steven Sherpa. The race will demonstrate that even the fastest runner cannot escape from a GLOF, a flood which is caused when lakes formed by melting ice...

Standards update put high on Safety meeting agenda

The UIAA Safety Commission has set its agenda for a key meeting of producers and testers of climbing equipment in the United States town of Golden, Colorado. The annual Plenary Session of the UIAA Safety Label will take place from May 27-29. UIAA Safety Label holders and certified test laboratories will discuss and review UIAA Safety Standards. Among the subjects on the agenda are changes to the harness standard, evaluation of ropes testing and a vote of approval...

New climbing routes made at Norway meet

New routes and new friendships were made by the climbers from 15 different countries who met in Lofoten, Norway between March 8 and 15. The international climbing meet, organised by the Norwegian Alpine Club, gave the 40 participants the chance for mixed ice and rock climbing in a special landscape with a view of the North Sea. There was also time for discussions about climbing ethics, and sharing knowledge and experiences. The participants were full of praise...

UIAA amends Anti-Doping policy

The UIAA has amended its Anti-Doping Policy and Procedure to reflect changes to the World Anti-Doping Code introduced by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) at the beginning of this year. The UIAA is also striving for full WADA compliancy which will include an out-of-competition testing programme. The new WADA code is based on two major themes, fairness and firmness, with the goal of strengthening the fight against doping in sports. One change to the code is that the...