Most mountaineers and climbers regard our activity as a freedom sport, in other words, it is free of rules and regulations, we are free to do it where we like, when we like and with anyone we choose. But this is not quite correct. We have a code of ethics and behavior in mountains involving respect for the natural environment and consideration for others involved in our sport. Although strictly speaking these are not rules but concepts that have been accepted by most of us for many years and largely they are respected and work well.
Debates between mountaineers and climbers about the ethics of the use of protection techniques have been continuous and I am proud that the UIAA Mountaineering Commission together with the German and Austrian Alpine Clubs have clarified these concepts on their use. We hope that this will find a common ground between climbers who want most climbs bolted to climbers having a more purist approach discounting any use of bolts. We are a tolerant society and I hope that these suggestions offer an acceptable compromise that we can all use in the future.
Ian McNaught-Davis, UIAA President 1995-2004
You, who are on your road must have a code that you can live by and so become yourself because the past is just a goodbye.
The message of the popular Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song “Teach” could provide a
suitable background for implementing this document. The “Recommendations for the
redevelopment and first ascents of rock climbing routes in alpine regions” are based on the
principle of voluntary participation. They represent a compromise between the factions
supporting and opposing the use of bolts and are meant to be future-oriented guidelines for
dealing with the resource “mountain”.
The following people cooperated on this project:
I would like to thank them for their enthusiasm and perseverance during the extensive
discussions – especially Nicholas Mailänder, who served as the ” spiritus rector ” in our work
group. Many thanks also to Michael Olzowy, chairman of the DAV-section Bayerland, for
organising two public discussions on the topic which brought together leading climbers from
various countries and included such celebrities as Reinhold Messner.
Robert Renzler, President of the UIAA Mountaineering Commission, project-coordinator