International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation

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"UIAA" redirects here. For the airport with this ICAO airport code, see Kadala Airport.

The UIAA or Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme, (English: International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) is the organization that represents several million climbers and mountaineers, world-wide, on international issues. Formed in 1932 by 30 Alpine clubs at their assembly in [Chamonix]], France, and headquarterd in Bern, Switzerland, it now has over 88 member associations from 76 countries. It is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the international federation for climbing and mountaineering. The UIAA is also concerned with the regulation of ice-climbing competitions.

Grading system[edit]

The UIAA grading system is mostly used for short rock routes in Western Germany, Austria and Switzerland and most countries in Eastern Europe. On long routes it is often used in the Alps and Himalayas. Using Roman numerals, it was originally intended to run from I (easiest) to X (hardest), but improvements to climbing standards have led to the system being open-ended. An optional + or − may be used to further differentiate difficulty. As of 2004, the hardest climbs were XII−.

Safety in climbing and mountaineering equipment[edit]

The UIAA Safety Commission develops and maintains safety standards for climbing equipment. These standards are implemented world-wide by the manufacturers who also participate in annual Safety Commission meetings. The Commission works with nearly 60 manufacturers world-wide and has 1,861 products certified.

Ice climbing competitions[edit]

The UIAA is the world governing body for ice climbing competitions. The annual World Cup circuit and the bi annual World Championship and Youth World Championship are organised on three continents with athletes from over 30 countries participating. Ice climbing was showcased in the Olympic Park during the 2014 Wintergames in Sochi.


  • 1932–1964: Count Charles Egmond d'Arcis
  • 1964–1968: Eduard Wyss-Dunant
  • 1968–1972: Albert Eggler[1]
  • 1972–1976: Jean Juge[2]
  • 1976–1984: Pierre Bossus
  • 1984–1990: Carlo Sganzini
  • 1990–1995: Pietro Segantini
  • 1995–2004: Ian McNaught-Davis
  • 2004–2005: Alan Blackshaw
  • 2005–2012: Mike Mortimer[3]
  • 2012–: Frits Vrijlandt[4]


External links[edit]