THE UIAA MOUNTAIN CODE

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Stretch your Limits, Lift your Spirits and Aim for the Top

Article 1 – Individual Responsibility Maxim: Mountaineers and climbers practice their sport in situations where there is risk of accidents and outside help may not be available. With this in mind, they pursue this activity at their own responsibility and are accountable for their own safety. The individual’s actions should not endanger those around them nor the environment.

Article 2 – Team Spirit Maxim: Members of the team should be prepared to make compromises in order to balance the interests and abilities of the entire group.

Article 3 – Climbing & Mountaineering Community Maxim: We owe every person we meet in the mountains or on the rocks an equal measure of respect. Even in isolated conditions and stressful situations, we should not forget to treat others as we want to be treated ourselves.

Article 4 – Visiting Foreign Countries Maxim: As guests in foreign cultures, we should always conduct ourselves politely and with restraint towards the people there – our hosts. We will respect holy mountains and other sacred places while seeking to benefit and assist local economies and people. Understanding of foreign cultures is part of a complete climbing experience.

Article 5 – Responsibilities of Mountain Guides and other Leaders Maxim:Professional mountain guides, other leaders and group members should each understand their respective roles and respect the freedoms and rights of other groups and individuals. In order to be prepared guides, leaders and group members should understand the demands, hazards and risks of the objective, have the necessary skills, experience and correct equipment, and check the weather and conditions.

Article 6 – Emergencies, Dying and Death Maxim:To be prepared for emergencies and situations involving serious accidents and death all participants in mountain sports should clearly understand the risks and hazards and the need to have appropriate skills, knowledge and equipment. All participants need to be ready to help others in the event of an emergency or accident and also be ready to face the consequences of a tragedy.

Article 7 – Access and Conservation Maxim: We believe that freedom of access to mountains and cliffs in a responsible manner is a fundamental right. We should always practice our activities in an environmentally sensitive way and be proactive in preserving nature. We respect access restrictions and regulations agreed by climbers with nature conservation organizations and authorities.

Article 8 – Style Maxim:The quality of the experience and how we solve a problem is more important than whether we solve it. We strive to leave no trace.

Article 9 – First Ascents Maxim: The first ascent of a route or a mountain is a creative act. It should be done in at least as good a style as the traditions of the region and show responsibility toward the local climbing community and the needs of future climbers.

Article 10 – Sponsorship, Advertising and Public Relations Maxim: The cooperation between sponsors and athletes must be a professional relationship that serves the best interests of mountain sports. It is the responsibility of the mountain sports community in all its aspects to educate and inform both media and public in a proactive manner.

Article 11 – Use of Supplementary Oxygen in Mountaineering Maxim: The use of supplementary oxygen in high altitude mountaineering has been under debate for several years. In this debate, different aspects related to the topic can be distinguished, such as medical and ethical aspects. These medical aspects should be of paramount concern to all mountaineers.

Article 12 – High Altitude Guided Commercial Expeditions Maxim: Commercial operators attempting 8000m or other comparable peaks which offer more limited facilities must recognize the limitations of the clients whom they guide. All efforts must be made to ensure the safety of their clients. July 2009