Pit Schubert honoured for lifetime contributions to safety

Engineer and mountaineer Pit Schubert has been elected the UIAA's latest honorary member, in thanks for his extensive work on making the sport safer. The German climber played a major role in establishing the UIAA Safety Label standards for mountaineering equipment. From 1973 until 2004, Schubert was a member of the UIAA Safety Commission and for the last eight years he served as president. He founded the Safety Commission of the German Alpine Association (DAV) in...

UIAA nominates Dawa Steven Sherpa for IOC award

The UIAA has nominated Dawa Steven Sherpa for the IOC Environmental Award, which recognises and encourages the implementation of good environmental practices in the field of sport. The UIAA believes that the work done by Dawa Stephen Sherpa, before, during and after his Eco Everest Expedition 2008, is worth international recognition. That is why it has nominated him for the IOC Award for Sport and the Environment. Set up by the International Olympic Committee for Sport...

New commission president brings global focus to mountain protection

Linda McMillan, the new president of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, brings with her broad experience from representation of climbers in environmental projects. McMillan, who comes from the United States, was elected at the UIAA General Assembly in Iran in October. She is the UIAA delegate from the American Alpine Club (AAC) and has held various positions in the AAC including Vice President from 2000-2003. She has been a member of the UIAA Access and Conservation...

Disciplinary action pursued in Patrouille des Glaciers doping case

The UIAA is pursuing disciplinary proceedings against French Ski Mountaineering athlete Patrick Blanc, who tested positive after the 2008 Patrouille des Glaciers, the long distance teams’ world championship. The UIAA Disciplinary Commission started its work on October 6. It is chaired by the British legal expert Ian Alderson, and includes a representative from the newly formed International Ski Mountaineering Federation (IFSM) and a medical doctor. The commission must deal with the case after Blanc’s A and...

Better communication to improve mountain medicine

Doctors from 15 countries have met in the Czech Republic to discuss mountain medicine and how to better spread accurate information amongst UIAA members. The UIAA Medical Commission held their annual meeting near Teplice nad Metuji on October 2, where they exchanged research, experiences and  developments in their respective countries. Among the topics was the continued expansion of  the joint Diploma in Mountain Medicine for doctors, which the commission manages together with partner organisations ISMM and MedCom ICAR. In Switzerland 120...

Climbers meet climbers in United States

Nearly 50 climbers from 23 countries  took part in the American Alpine Club's first international climbing meet in Indian Creek, Utah, from October 3-10. The AAC had invited each country to send two young climbers, one man and one woman able to lead  a UIAA VII-, and was impressed with the response. "Europe was well represented but it was gratifying to see climbers from Russia, China, Japan, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil and Australia there as well,"...

Safety label is expanding

The UIAA is developing a new safety standard for abseiling and belaying devices which will be published in 2009. More than 15 manufacturers of braking devices were present at the UIAA Safety Commission Meeting in Prague from September 22-26, where decisions were made on the testing of equipment. The commission expects many new label holders when this standard is published. "The UIAA Safety Label is today the worldwide reference for mountaineering and climbing safety equipment," said Jean-Franck Charlet, UIAA Safety...

UIAA doctors discuss altitude sickness and drug use

Simple steps to avoid altitude illness, new frost bite treatment and the use of oxygen and medications in the mountains are among the important topics to be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the UIAA Medical Commission. The commission is gathering in Adrspach, Czech Republic from October 2-4. "In the meeting in the Czech Republic we will be concentrating on reaching a consensus on recommendations for matters such as altitude sickness, gastroenteritis and water treatment," says commission...

Manufacturer co-operation focus of Safety Commission meeting

A revision of existing standards and the introduction of new ones as well as improving co-operation with manufacturers top the agenda of the UIAA Safety Commission meeting taking place in Prague from September 23-27. In the run-up to the meeting in the Czech capital, many manufacturers said they would support and value the UIAA Safety Label, but called for the UIAA to offer better services, including equipment testing research. Commission members will also discuss quality control, for...

Mountaineers test new eco friendly gear

The Eco Everest Expedition 2008, led by Dawa Steven Sherpa, has successfully field tested new equipment for environmentally friendly mountaineering. The expedition members and Sherpas tried out systems for disposal of human waste and rubbish, purifying water and using renewable energy for cooking and light. "From my practical experiences on Everest I have developed what I would like to call the Eco Everest Model," says Dawa Steven. "My aim was to show that with minimal extra...