The UIAA Youth Commission held its first 2020 meeting on 29 February in Cyprus, expertly hosted by the Cyprus Mountaineering Climbing & Orienteering Federation. Among those attending were President Mark Dennison (UK), Pavlos Georgiades, Niki Karoulla, Nektarios Vilandis (Cyprus), Tiberiu Pintilie (Romania), Barbara Bajer (Slovenia), Christian Baird (France) and Rob Adie (UIAA Office) via video link.

The meeting opened with introductions from the delegates and a short presentation by the Vice President of the IOC Cyprus. For the benefit of new member of the commissions, there was a brief overview of the UIAA and the workings of its Commissions.


With Steve Long (President, UIAA Training Panel) joining the meeting via Skype, there was a discussion focusing on the work of the Training Panel and the possibility of future collaboration between the Youth Commission and the Training Panel. It was agreed that the two groups would discuss the possibility of developing personal performance standards and certificates that could be issued at youth events as well as developing separate standards in newer member federations and introducing youth climbing to the UIAA.


Pavlos Georgiades (UIAA Mountaineering Commission VP) outlined his thoughts as to how the Youth Commission could both plan and implement Global Youth Summit Events.  Various options included – UIAA personal certifications or delegates attending events; additional support for federations; events organised by the Youth Commission and a revision of standards and Global Youth Summit Handbook to reflect the new process and standards. Also proposed was a certificate of personal competence to delegates at an initial fee of €10.

It was agreed that a two-tier system be adopted, with current events (Plan A) being subject to a set of transitional rules and new events (Plan B) being governed by the newly proposed and developed standards. Further discussion was held as to whether a pyramid scheme of events could be developed – ranging from local events at the bottom of the pyramid, national events in the middle and global events forming the top of the pyramid.

Regarding timescales, it was proposed that there be two annual deadlines for registration; in February for summer events and September for winter events.


The Youth Commission’s well established events in France, Iran and North Macedonia will all take place this year. Some of these events are still to be confirmed; these along with any further events will be added to the UIAA website.


It was agreed that there should be a focus on three main areas of certification; hiking, indoor climbing and outdoor climbing (single pitch).

Photos courtesy of Lena Drapella, UIAA Global Youth Series Event in Guillestre, France (February 2020)



There remains a need to identify those responsible for youth within each member federation. This will be tackled in a variety of ways, including discussions at the 2020 General Assembly, direct contact from the UIAA Office and through contact from current Youth Commission members. It was suggested that future plans should include each Youth Commission member having responsibility for communication with groups of members. It was agreed that consideration should be given to whether current members, those that have no direct contact with the workings of the Commission, should be re-designated as corresponding members or dropped from the Commission entirely.

A list of all active members, including contact details will be shared with all other active members, with a Whereby Group established to be used for meetings.


There are a number of challenges for the Youth Commission going forward. In particular, the need to encourage a number members of the Commission to be more active and urge their federations to hold events that are open to all UIAA members. It is essential that all events run by member federations comply with the basic principles as detailed in the Youth Commission guidance notes for planning and holding an event. Furthermore, there is a need to develop a training programme for national federations to produce a set of standards and a recognised way of working when organising Youth events as well as to develop a succession plan for future commission members.


The Handbook would greatly benefit from a makeover to include photos of events and projects.


International Youth Ice Climbing Camp, Guillestre, Hautes Alpes, France

The camp has been successfully held for a number of years and provides young climbers of every ability the opportunity to learn the many forms of ice climbing as well as being able to meet fellow young climbers from across the globe.

International Youth Climbing Camp, Ariege, France

The focus of the camp is to learn and practice the many forms of climbing; cliffs with a single pitch or routes with a number of pitches, all on a variety of rocks such as granite and limestone.

International Youth Climbing Festival, Iran- to be confirmed

The event will take place on Mount Damavand (5671m) and Mount Alamkuh (4848m). This is now an annual event. As a result of the collaboration between the UIAA and The Iran Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation (IMSCF) it has afforded many Iranian climbers the opportunity to take part in many other GYS events.

Land Camp, North Macedonia – to be confirmed

This popular camp continues to grow year by year. It is now an annual event held in August.

A reminder that the UIAA global youth calendar includes not only UIAA Global Youth Series events but allows member federations to promote international or national events on the platform. Register your events for the UIAA’s global youth events calendar here


The Commission will look at ways to engage with national federations and Youth members to organise both national and international events with the aim of encouraging and inspiring young people to take to a life in the mountains. There will also be a focus on working with greater synergy with other Commissions, looking at their plans going forward and to link their programmes with young people.

The meeting set out the vision of the commission for the period 2020-21 and how this fits in with the current UIAA Strategic Plan. The key points from the discussion focused on identifying the main objectives for the year ahead, attracting more member federations to participate in the activity of the Commission, to establish cooperation between the Youth Commission and other UIAA Commissions and to enhance the promotion and publicity of the Commission within each member federation.

Report courtesy of Mark Dennison
UIAA Youth Commission President


UIAA Youth Commission and Events
Discover more about the UIAA and Youth Events here

UIAA Global Youth Calendar
The UIAA global youth calendar includes not only UIAA Global Youth Series events but allows member federations to promote international or national events on the platform.
Register your events for the UIAA’s global youth events calendar here