NEWS LETTER BY UIAA
The 2019 UIAA General Assembly will be held on 2 November in Larnaca, Cyprus and hosted by the Cyprus Mountaineering Climbing & Orienteering Federation (C.M.C.O.F.).
“It is a great pleasure and honour for the Cyprus Mountaineering Climbing & Orienteering Federation to host the 2019 UIAA General Assembly in Larnaca,” explains the association’s President Pavlos Georgiades. “The C.M.C.O.F. is proud to have been given the privilege to host this very important annual meeting of the UIAA. I’m positive that all delegates will have a tremendous experience attending the GA as we discuss serious matters shaping the future of our beloved sport.”
Cyprus, also well known as the “Island of Aphrodite” is an island rich in history and culture and full of wonderful experiences. Whatever the season, Cyprus provides ample opportunities to experience something new, interesting and exciting including activities and events, customs and places that are unique and special to the island.
Founded in 2000 C.M.C.O.F. has made great strides in its 19 years of existence. Georgiades, also Vice President of the UIAA Mountaineering Commission, was one of the pioneers in the creation of the federation and explains how it came to life. “The history of climbing and mountaineering in Cyprus started in 1997 and at that time there was nothing available to help us. There was only one club founded in 1995 and focused on hiking.” To rectify this situation, Georgiades and some associates made steps to set-up a climbing and mountaineering federation. It had a clear vision. “Youth was one of the cornerstones in the federation’s creation,” explains Georgiades. “Everything started with the 400 youngsters who used to come to the country’s first indoor climbing wall.”
Climbing walls provided the perfect opportunity for young people to enjoy an introduction to climbing and eventually mountaineering. Cyprus is also a fertile region in terms of outdoor opportunities. The climate is agreeable, among the best in Europe, providing the opportunity to climb all year round with the optimum times being the spring and the autumn. Furthermore, the federation works closely with the country’s tourist board to entice foreign climbers. “We have about 250 rock climbing routes many of them are single pitch with a range of difficulties, from 5 to 8b+,” continues Georgiades. The island is also popular with cyclists, orienteers and water sport enthusiasts.
Along with youth participation, improving skills and safety are two of the federation’s pillars. With this in mind, they have already since 2017 certified the country’s sport and traditional climbing instructors to meet UIAA training standards and have applied to the government to introduce a law to regulate (sport/bolted) climbing routes to improve climber’s safety. The federation also runs dedicated rock and indoor climbing courses, a search and rescue operation and is trying to create a network of hiking huts for its members. C.M.C.O.F. has been a full member of the UIAA since 2007.
Delegates will have the opportunity to enjoy the culture and climbing (and wider outdoor) scene in Cyprus through the special holiday package put in place by the organisers. This includes visits to the Troodos mountains, Paphos, ancient monuments and villages. Troodos, home to Mount Olympus the country’s highest peak at 1952m, provides excellent opportunities for traditional climbing and hiking. It also has four ski slopes as well as a number of resorts, Byzantine monasteries and churches. “It is no secret that the Mediterranean diet is considered to be of the healthiest and adding to this the favourable climate, I assure you that your stay in Cyprus will be an enjoyable, exciting and unforgettable experience for all of you,”