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Latest News From UIAA

16.07.24: Snow and fun at Slovenian ski touring camp
The first Global Youth Summit event of this year took place in Slovenia with 21 participants from seven different countries. The international ski touring camp, at the beginning of March, was held at the Komna plateau above Lake Bohinj. When the participants, Slovenian guides and staff arrived at the Planina na Kraju hut (1,510 m), they were met by an incredible four meters of snow. The first two floors of the hut were almost completely covered with snow, while the neighbouring house had only one meter of its roof visible. (...) The Slovenian guys said that they haven't seen so much snow in the last 30 years, writes Laszlo, one of the participants, in an article about the camp on a Romanian Alpine Club blog. The sun did not make much of an appearance during the week, but the group was able to get out ski touring on the second and third day, withKal (2,001 m) beingthe highest summit reached. For some participants it was one of their first times ski touring, for others it was a chance to get to know a mountain landscape different to the ones in their home countries. During the third night it started to snow heavily and within the next couple of days a total of 1.2 meter of heavy snow had fallen. This meant that the avalanche risk was very high, and therefore it was not safe to leave the area around the hut for the rest of the week. Instead the guides used the opportunity to allow the group to practice testing snow conditions on the terrain, avalanche beacons and simulating avalanche rescue situations around the hut. Other activities included a team skiing race around the hut organised by the Norwegians, building a fat snowman and a lot of snow shoveling, including making a tunnel into the hut's front door. Other elements that kept the spirits up were plenty of good food and getting to know other mountaineers from across Europe. The participants came from Romania, Serbia, Spain, the UK, Norway, Sweden and Slovenia. Some of them have already planned to come back and ski tour in Komna, hopefully with slightly less snow.

16.07.24: 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 willdiscuss 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 of UIAA Standard 129 for braking devices. The plenary session offers participants a chance to make proposals and exchange information about the UIAA Standards and report any problems. There will also be discussions on unusual climbing accidents and the use of climbing equipment in these cases. A draft paper will be tabled with recommendations for equipmenthandling, and knowing when it should be discarded. Following approval, the advice will be made available on the UIAA website. The UIAA started to test ropes in 1960 and now has standards for 19 different categories of safety equipment. Climbing and mountaineering equipment with the UIAA Safety Label is tested to the UIAA standards and recommended by the UIAA for use by climbers and mountaineers. Learn more

16.07.24: Italian Alpine Club aids earthquake survivors
The UIAA supports efforts by the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) to come to the aid of the survivors of the devastating earthquake that rocked the mountain region of Abruzzo on April 6. The tremor killed about 300 people and has left around 17,000 homeless. The CAI has set up a bank account (IBAN IT42 F056 9601 6200 0000 0500 X36) for the collection of funds to aid the affected population. It's a mountain area where quite a few local sections of the Italian Alpine Club are active, and in June and July some activities were planned under the UIAA flag, said Silvio Calvi, member of the UIAA board and CAI. The UIAA supports the fund-raising initiative by the CAI, he said. Volunteers from the various mountaineering clubs took part in the rescue efforts immediately following the earthquake, but the CAI says the relief response will need to go on for some time. Calvi added thatthe UIAA events were not scheduled to take place in the quake area and there were no plans at the moment to cancel them.

16.07.24: Global Youth Summit season gets underway
Are you between 14 and 30 years old, an active climber or hiker, and enjoy meeting new people from other countries? Then one of this year's UIAA Global Youth Summit events might be for you. So far five events are planned for the coming summer months: a climbing camp in Romania, treks in Italy and South Africa and an ascent of Mount Elbrus, Russia; with further events to be announced soon. The first event of 2009, a ski touring camp in Slovenia, has already taken place with 21 participants from seven different countries. The 2009 UIAA Global Youth Summit offers the participants an opportunity to be active in some incredibly beautiful landscapes, says Anne Arran, president of the UIAA Youth Commission. The commission co-ordinates the events, which are organised by UIAA member federations. While some of the events are aimed at young teenagers who want to join a trek in mountains below 2,000m, older mountaineers can take part in an ascent to the highest peak of Europe, supported by experienced leaders. All the events are still open for registration, but don't miss the application deadlines! Some events might be fully booked before the deadline.You can find all the information, including age limits, registration deadlines and costs on the Global Youth Summit calendar. Its not just about the activities, says Arran. The UIAA Global Youth Summit is also a platform for environmental actions, learning about indigenous mountain communities, sharing different styles or ethics of climbing and mountaineering as well as an opportunity to learn new skills, to reach your own top and improve your performance on the hill or crag. The events are open to members of any UIAA member federation within the age limits set by the organisers. (Participants from some other federations can be offered the opportunity to join the GYS as part of a specific development objective.) Participants under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult leader from their own country. The Global Youth Summit is also a valuable experience for leaders, says Arran: They can discuss their training systems with other leaders and share expertise. Some federations organise group trips to events, but if you are at least 18 years of age you can travel to the event on your own. Sometimes Global Youth Summit events are linked to similar events in other countries, or are organised as part of a federation's calendar of events throughout the year, such as the Italian Alpine Club's Mountain Festival 2009. We dont just welcome UIAA federations to interact with our programmes, but also other international bodies for youth and sport; to share expertise, collaborate on events, develop resources and to support environmental education of youth in and out of the mountains, says Arran. Check out the UIAA website for how these events could inspire your clubs or schools to be active or excel in sport. The training seminars run by federations offer an opportunity to exchange information on looking after young climbers and mountaineers of all ages in our sport. If you would like to know what it is like to take part in a UIAA youth event, you can read about previous events.

16.07.24: Youth invited to international trek in Italy
Young hikers between 14 and 17 years old are invited to a week of trekking in the mountains of Abruzzo, Italy. The trek will take place from July 4 - 12 and is open to all members of a UIAA Member Federation in the right age group. The organisers are inviting three young people from each country, accompanied by an adult leader. In total a maximum of 40 participants can join the trek. The event is organised as part of the UIAA Global Youth Summit (GYS). You can find more summer treks, climbing camps and ascents for people between 18-30 on the GYS Calendar. Participants in the Italian trek will not need any technical equipment orclimbingexperience. However, since they will walk from six to nine hours per day, they need to be in good shape and be prepared for hiking in the mountains. The route will take the group through the Majella, Morrone and Gran Sasso rock massifs. The participants will visit areas of natural and historical-cultural interest, and get to know about the life of local people in the area through ancient historical periods. The participation fee is 250 euros per participant including accommodation in hotels and schools, meals and local bus transfers. Those who would like to take part should read the invitation and send in the registration form no later than May 20, 2009. The event is organised by the Italian Alpine Club's youth commission and Abruzzo regional commission. NOTE: The place of the event was not affected by April's earthquake, and therefore the activity is expected to go ahead as planned.

16.07.24: Turkish youth climbing camp goes ahead in April
Young climbers from 16 to 29 years of age are invited to an international climbing camp in Geyibayiri, Antalya, Turkey next month. The camp will be held from April 13-18 and up to six participants from each country can take part. Everybody should be able to lead climb a minimum of UIAA VI+ grade (6a French grade). The event is organised as part of the UIAA Global Youth Summit (GYS). You can find more summer treks, climbing camps and ascents for people between 18-30 on the GYS Calendar. The main goal for the camp is for the participants to experience Turkey, climb together and go back home with improved climbing skills. The camp,40km from Antalya Airport,is only five minutes' walk from cliffs with almost 500 routes. The price is 220 euro per participant, including accommodation and full board. Those who would like to take part should read the invitation and send in the registration form. The event is organised by the Mountaineering Federation of Turkey and the.

16.07.24: 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 formixed 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 for the organisers and the natural setting of Lofoten. Maybe the best description of the entire week would be a single word - followed with silence - spoken by Bjorn when I joined him sitting on the summit of Rulten: MAGIC, said Marko Prezelj from Slovenia. Myself, often labeled as a perfectionist, can just add: 'perfect'. The meet was informal and it was up to each climber to choose how to spend their days. Several new routes were set by the participants, and information about these will be made available on the Norwegian Alpine Club website. The Norwegians took the opportunity to advocate the Norwegian culture of clean climbing - avoiding the use of fixed bolts in Norway's high mountains. Naturally, not a single bolt was drilled into the rock during the meet. Some of the international climbers promised to spread the word on the local climbing culture to people back home. Norway has some of the biggest potential for adventure in the world and it needs to be cherished, said Andy Cave from the UK. The organisers also declared the event a success, perhaps to be repeated. We hope that the participants will return to Norway and attend other meetings we arrange to reveal some other unique climbing locations in Norway, said organiser Marius Morstad.

16.07.24: 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 sanctions have been increased. More types of violations can now lead to the maximum four-year ban from competition sports for first-time offenders. At the same time, the new code offers judges more flexibility with regards to sentencing. This can result in either harsher or milder sanctions for athletes, depending on the circumstances. The 2009 code also calls for sports organisations to speed up the process and management of doping cases. This could for instance reduce the time between the analyses of the A and B samples. For the details of all the changes to the UIAA Anti-Doping Policy please download the full document. You can also download the WADA 2009 Code or read a summary of the changes to the Code on the WADA web site. The UIAA Anti-Doping Commission assists Member Association with implementing the WADA Code and the Anti-Doping Policy and Procedure. The commission is in charge of handling the UIAAs responsibilities for the Code with regards to the administration of Ice Climbing competitions, the competition sport managed by the UIAA.

16.07.24: Setting high standards for mountain protection
Linda McMillan, nominated to become the new president of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, presents her vision of how climbers, mountaineers and trekkers can help study and protect mountain environments. In the following article, McMillan argues that the UIAA can claim the high ground on mountain protection: From my work with the IUCNs Mountains Biome group, I see the need and the opportunity to bring three important mountain stakeholder groupsscience, sport, and tourismtogether to improve mountain protection around the world. Most scientists have not yet realized the great natural potential of sport and tourism to help them to document, understand, preserve and protect precious natural and cultural resources in mountain regions. Some mountain tourists such as trekkers, and mountain sports enthusiasts such as climbers and mountaineers have proven to be highly motivated and effective mountain stewards when given the chance to participate (either as volunteers or paid assistants) in compelling projects. This is especially so when projects are focused on threats such as climate changes, loss of biodiversity, waste management, protecting fresh water sources, etc.. The lichen inventories done by climbers in Yosemite (2007 and 2008) are examples of these types of projects. The climbers who gather species samples for the GLORIA Project around the world are another example. Dawa Steven Sherpas EcoEverest Expedition in 2008 demonstrating effective human waste and trash removal systems is another great example. These successful types of projects done in collaboration with scientists from major NGOs and land management agencies provide global credibility and publicity for the UIAA and its goals, members and national climbing communities. Though some projects require volunteers, others offer monetary compensation or attractive tradeoffs for participation. For instance, a high-altitude species inventory by scientists could invite mountaineers on an all-expenses paid expedition to gather samples on unclimbed or popular mountain peaks. During the next four years leading the Mountain Protection Commission I plan to: expand its membership with up to 20 active members representing the major mountain regions of the world help our Commission members work with scientists, academics, government agencies, and mountain-related NGOs from their regions to find ways to include mountaineers and climbers in projects focused on understanding and protecting mountain environments around the world transform mountaineers and climbers into highly-skilled and valuable citizen scientists who can help land managers around the world to preserve and protect mountain environments from impacts such as pollution and global climate change. Achieving this would give the UIAA a solid platform for strengthening and leveraging our relationships with the IUCN and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which both have intense interest in promoting sustainable tourism in mountain and forest regions of the world. It also importantly allows climbers and mountaineers to clearly claim the high ground as historic leaders of mountain protection in the tradition of John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and many alpine clubs and climbing associations around the world. It moves us into a very advantageous position of respect, inclusion and empowerment in future land management decisions. The work of the Mountain Protection Commission will prove that climbers and mountaineers can effectively protect mountains with land managers, and serve as high-profile role models for other mountain stakeholder groups.

16.07.24: UIAA embraces World Sport declaration
The Youth Commission is pledging to use the declaration from the recentWorld Sport for All Congress when forming action plans and initiatives. UIAA Youth Commission President, Anne Arran, says this is key in the run up to the 2009 Congress theme Moving towards an active society. The declaration from the 12th World Sport for All Congress Sport for All for Life called on governments to act urgently to deal with the global problems of increasing obesity and lack of physical exercise. The congress has asked governments and public authorities to recognise the important effect sport and physical activity has on public mental and physical health, health spending and community relations. It also urged governments to support the possibility of all to take part in sports. By its very nature, the UIAA emphasises the benefits of an active lifestyle and access to the outdoors. Through the Global Youth Summit, UIAA member federations give young people the chance to take part in enjoyable and challenging activities such as peak ascents, climbing courses and summer mountaineering camps. The UIAA Global Youth Summit as a whole highlights many of the principles agreed at the congress through its aims and activities, such as education through sport and culture and mountain environment issues, Arran says. She emphasises that the Congress affirmed that physical inactivity is a major independent risk factor for non-communicable diseases and unhealthy body weight. According to the declaration, almost 22 million children under five years of age and 155 million of school age are overweight, and childhood obesity leads to increased adult obesity. Physical activity and sports are important counter measures. Climbing and mountaineering is all encompassing and we welcome everyone, whether they are from the city or mountain communities, through our federations, their clubs and programmes to take part in individual - not team - sports that they can engage in their entire lives, says Arran. She believes the UIAA can embrace many of the recommendations made at the congress, by providing international activities and guidance to the member federations. The congress was organised by the Olympic Council of Malaysia under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its Sport for All Commission, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Go to the organisers website for the full declaration and to the Global Youth Summit 2009 calendar for information about youth activities.

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