Year of the Mountains - 2002

Extract from Summit Magazine - Winter 2001

"So what does it mean that the United Nations has designated 2002 as the International Year of Mountains? Will mountains get bigger during the year? Or perhaps gravity will be reduced to make them easier to climb?  Anyway, isn't the UN busy solving global problems?"

The mountaineering federations have agreed a 'Summit Charter', adopted by the UIAA.  The charter is to remind everyone, in particular governments and international organisations, why climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are valuable and worthwhile activities with many health, social, educational and economic benefits.


Some other key themes in the charter include access, conservation, risks, youth, equal opportunities.

One of the less obvious themes is urging commitments to repair war damage in mountain areas and the resolution of mountain border disputes through new agreements.

'Peace Parks' in mountain areas where there have been border disputes?  Veteran Indian mountaineer and author Harish Kapadia would like such a scheme for the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram where the armies of India and Pakistan face each other in the long-standing Kashmir border dispute.

There is lot's happening to celebrate the International Year of the Mountains with various launch events at the Festival of Climbing on 7 to 9 December including the launch of the Access and Conservation Trust with Alan Michael MP, the Minister for Rural Affairs.  You can keep up to date with the various events and initiatives via the BMC web site and by visiting Also check out the Outdoors Show at the NEC in Birmingham on 15-17 March 2002 which will include the final of the British Bouldering Championship.

Make sure everyone knows 2002 is the International Year of the Mountains, support and, or, take part in some of the events being organised.