Thousands of young climbers continue the Olympic spirit

Young climbers from around the world are planning to light a torch on top of Mount Olympus on August 24 to keep Olympic values alive as the flame in Beijing is extinguished. The UIAA Youth Commission is now calling on member federations to organise their own climbs on August 24. The events will celebrate "Ekecheiria", the ancient Greeks' name for the peaceful period which reigned during the Olympic Games. Many federations might already have groups climbing...

Call for Jammu and Kashmir to be re-opened

The Access and Conservation Commission has called on the tourism authorities in Jammu and Kashmir to re-instate infrastructure to allow for the resumption of mountaineering. “We owe it to our Indian colleagues in the UIAA to attempt a realistic and sober assessment of the risk involved,” said Commission President, Robert Pettigrew. The Pir Panjal range of the Kashmir Himalaya has been closed to mountain tourism for 15 years due to the armed conflict in the region. Both journalists and...

China prepares environmental action for Tibet

Chinese officials have announced a new "ecological security" plan for Tibet, which has the fastest rate of global warming in the world. Climbers who visit Tibet see the most visible sign of global warming in the region: the shrinking glaciers of Mount Everest. The glaciers have receded by 170 metres over the past decade. Chinese scientists have concluded that the average annual temperature in Tibet is increasing by 0.3 degrees Celsius every 10 years - the...

Everest weather station goes online

A new meteorological station now in place on Mount Everest is providing hourly updates online from its position 8,000 metres above sea level. The station will supply valuable information to climbers and scientists researching climate change. The world’s highest automatic weather station, installed in May on Everest’s South Col on the Nepali side of the mountain provides data on indicators such as wind direction and speed, temperature and humidity. The information is continuously published online. The construction...

Russia reports success for extreme sports event on Mount Elbrus

The event, which included a high-speed run to the top of Europe's highest peak, the 5,642m Mount Elbrus, a snowshoe race and ski-mountaineering competitions (vertical race and rally), took place from May 15-18. Red Fox Asia team members Andrey Puchinin (Kazakhstan), Sergey Seliverstov (Kyrgyzstan) and Semen Dvornichenko (Kyrgyzstan) took the three top spots in the men's snowshoe event. The surprise in this race was Russian Roman Gubanov who had the bad luck of breaking his bindings...

UIAA training standards take on increased importance

Participants from 13 countries have met in Wales to discuss the importance of international training standards and exchanged experiences on developing training programmes. The UIAA Training Standards Seminar took place from May 5-7 and was hosted by Mountain Leader Training UK and Mountain Centre at Plas y Brenin in Wales. The seminar focused on the benefits of having  international standards for training schemes and the importance of local knowledge. When a mountain leader or instructor chooses to work in...

New treatment for frostbite saves limbs

An American medical study has tested new successful techniques and drugs to treat frostbite. In the future, this treatment could mean that fewer mountaineers suffering from severe frostbite will have to have arms, legs, fingers or toes amputated. For mountaineers who enjoy winter climbing and take part in high altitude expeditions, frostbite can be very dangerous and lead to gangrene and amputation of limbs. The standard treatments, to re-warm the patient and amputation in severe cases,...

Eco friendly Everest summit

The members of the Eco Everest expedition 2008 have reached the summit. The purpose of the expedition was to field test an environmentally friendly approach to climbing and draw attention to climate change. You can read more about the Eco Everest expedition in our previous article. One of the expedition members, Apa Sherpa, broke his own world record on the morning of May 22, when he summited the mountain for the 18th time. Apa has the most climbs...

Early warning for glacial lake outburst floods

In the Khumbu region of the Himalayas, a pilot early warning system for glacial lake outbursts is being developed. Glacial lake outbursts can be caused by global warming and is a major threath to people in the region. The work is done by scientists from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, ICIMOD, in cooperation with the Nepal Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and the Keio University of Japan. Glacial lakes are formed by melting...

Spurs banned at Ice Climbing competitions

The UIAA Ice Climbing Commission (ICICC) has decided to ban the use of spurs, effective from the 2009 competition season. The decision was made after a new survey of competition competitors showed that the majority of the athletes prefer not to use spurs. The commission notes that the use of spurs is becoming increasingly rare not just in competitions, but also in the opening of new routes. Following this natural trend, spurs will therefore not be allowed...