Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme
The UIAA or Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme, (English: International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) is the organization that represents several million mountaineers and climbers, world-wide, on international issues. Formed in 1932 in Chamonix, France, and currently head-quartered 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 mountaineering and climbing. The UIAA is also concerned with regulation of ice-climbing, rock-climbing and bouldering competitions that usually take part indoors on man-made climbing routes.
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 mountaineering and climbing equipment
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.
- 1932-c.1950s: Count Charles Egmond d’Arcis
- -1995: ???
- 1995-2004: Ian McNaught-Davis
- 2004-2005: Alan Blackshaw
- 2005-2012: Mike Mortimer
- 2012-: Frits Vrijlandt
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