The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation is pleased to release its document known as the "UIAA Mountain Ethics Declaration". This declaration was unanimously accepted by the General Assembly of the UIAA in Porto, Portugal in October 2009.
This final document was many years in the making, and drew on the work previously presented at various times as the Mountain Code, the Summit Charter and the Tirol Declaration.
This Declaration deals with the issues of how we as climbers behave in the mountains, our responsibilities to ourselves and each other. The considerations that are necessary when climbing in foreign areas, especially with respect for the culture and climbing traditions of the host country. The Declaration also states that access to the mountains and wilderness is a fundamental human right, as long as it is done in a responsible manner.
Finally it is a document about good style and the best practices, about caring for other climbers. Most of all it is the human spirit.
The president of the UIAA Mike Mortimer stated "This declaration has been a long time in the making and has involved the efforts of many of the best climbers of a generation. While it is a declaration that will stand the test of time, it is the intention of the UIAA to review the Declaration on a periodic basis; as such it will be a living document. It is most appropriate that this declaration be announced on International Mountain Day – a declaration that has been endorsed by more than forty mountaineering federations from across the globe. Indeed a good thing to do on such a day."
All of this is best summed up in the preamble to the document states:
"Stretch your Limits, Lift your Spirits and Aim for the Top"
December 11, 2009