So, the time has come. Taking the next step is always daunting. Last year I decided to become a part of the solution and invested myself into the Union International Association ‘d Alpinism (UIAA). Becoming part of the Ice Climbing Commission as a Full Member wasn’t enough. I was asked to run for the Executive Board of the UIAA, as my efforts to be a cofactor in the viral spread of mixed climbing took hold in the USA and around the world.
The first ever UIAA General Assembly meeting to be held in the USA in the past 66 years, was in Flagstaff, AZ in Oct 2014. I was astounded by the show of hands from all around the world to support the sustaining of climbing and mountaineering on a world level. With Bill Putnam as the acting host, and long-standing honorary member, mountaineer, and USA’s 30-year representative to the UIAA, many of the world’s Federations (UK, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, India, Nepal, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and France, just to name a few), shared ideas on 7 major focuses of the UIAA.
Having been on boards in the past, I realized that this community was something more. They want to share their mountains and adventures, their dreams of a better world, and the promise to keep the faith.
I had the opportunity to meet and climb with Phil Powers, Executive Director of the AAC and part owner of Jackson Hole Mountain guides, and discuss many topics. As well, the current IFMGA president was in attendance and honored my by accepting the ONLY silver IFMGA pin (made by Steve and Nancy Attaway), and he pinned me with his pin in kind.
This comes in the wake of spending some quality time rock climbing in the Lake Tahoe area and attending the International Commission of Alpine Rescue conference. That was my first ICAR conference, and I was honored to represent the USA Mountain Rescue Association as the Avalanche Alternate Delegate, along-side Dale Atkins. Needless to say, it’s been a BIG Autumn. Oh ya, throw in that Trevor Mayshack and I taught a EMT CME course for Yosemite Search and Rescue in September.
After a long motorcycle trip home, I’m still reeling from the unanimous decision by the General Assembly to vote with confidence, my position on the Executive Board. I hope to continue what those who have come before me have done, and those who presently reside as are doing. I hope that being the only EB Member from the Western Hemisphere, and the only IFMGA guide on the EB, will help build on the past successes of the UIAA.
In the meantime, it’s back to guiding and instruction for BMG and SR. Let’s get ready for ice season and avi courses !!!