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...

Ice-borne archaeological finds call for responsible action

Archaeologists say they are relying on climbers and hikers to alert them to any unusual objects they may come across during their alpine walks or mountain expeditions. Over the past few years, hikers have made sensational discoveries of prehistoric artefacts in or beside melting snow and ice patches. Archaeologists tell the UIAA that anyone coming across such an object should leave it be and alert the local archaeological service, or authorities, to its location. “Document the location, get...

Aerial views offer new perspective of Himalayas

A US geography professor has created an atlas of computer generated aerial views of the Himalayas, available for all on the internet. The atlas contains over 700 life-like panoramas that offers climbers a unique view of the mountains they plan to climb. "Seeing the Earth from a high place allows us to grasp quickly the essential geography of vast regions that eludes those who are earth bound," says the atlas' creator William Bowen, professor emeritus of...

Mountaineers protecting mountains

Has your federation worked with land owners to preserve mountain areas? Then you could help mountain communities by sharing your experiences. Linda McMillan from the American Alpine Club is helping to produce a book with “Guidelines for Mountain Communities”, giving advice to mountain communities impacted by migration. Linda's part of the book gives information on how climbers, mountaineers, skiers, and other recreationists and their organisations are successfully working with land managers to preserve and protect mountain...