Introducing First Ascents and New Routes In The Greater Ranges” an annual list compiled by the Expeditions Commission oj the Union Internationale des Associations d:Alpinisme (UIAA).
In 1996 the Expeditions Commission of the UIAA decided to try to compile an annual list of First Ascents and New Routes in the Greater Ranges. The aim was twofold: firstly to ensure that mountaineers would have up-to-date information about what had been climbed, secondly to give contact addresses where more information could be obtained. We never guessed what we had let ourselves in for—it was a much bigger task than we had expected. The experienced Commission members present did some calculations on their fingers and decided that at most there would be 100 entries annually. In 1996 we received 65 entries and knew that we were missing more than we’d received. Our most recent list, for 2000, has over 200 entries, and we are pretty sure that we are still missing a few. The number of ascents we’ve logged is more than the number of entries—an expedition party often climbs more than one peak; this is especially true of Greenland where one entry may cover more than 10 new peaks or new routes.
How have we defined “Greater Ranges’? We look at several factors. Height is obviously one, closeness to centers where climbers live is another, how much of an effort is needed to get to the area a third. We wouldn’t want to have to defend our choice with pure logic, but we can try to explain some choices.
• Caucasus omitted: too well known and mapped
• Mexico, Rockies of USA and Canada omitted: too near the US and Canadian mountaineering centers
• Alaska included: most climbs are by non-residents
• Andes included: most climbs are by non-residents
• Mali, Kenya, and Madagascar included: almost entirely climbed by non-residents
• Antarctica, Greenland, Himalaya, Tien Shan, China-Tibet, Asiatic ex-USSR included: no justification needed
What are our sources? We imagined that mountaineers, proud of their exploits would rush to send us information. They didn’t. We do get back quite a few of the standard forms of which every UIAA member federation has copies, but often we have to rely on secondary sources, including reports from UIAA federations, research bodies like SGIM, national lists, magazines, and journals. (The AAJ has been a particularly good source). The problem with secondary sources is that the information takes longer to reach us and takes longer to process, so that the Annual List for 2000 was only issued in May 2002, and while we are working on the 2001 List, it will hardly be ready before Christmas 2002 (we had hoped that mountaineers planning Greater Ranges climbs would know of the previous years successes). We had originally hoped to include failures as well as successes because they often provide very valuable information for future attempts. So far this is more than we can cope with—but let’s hope we’ll get there in a few years.
We are now mainly collecting information about new ascents in 2002, but we can still take information about 2001. The List has grown bigger and more complete each year, and I’m sure 2002 will be no exception. We ask all mountaineers to help to make this archive as complete as possible. Report Forms may be obtained from the address below, either as a hard copy or through e-mail.
We are also glad to receive amendments and additions to Lists already issued—each new List includes at the end any new information received about previous years. So, if you know of any mistakes or omissions, please send them to the address below.
Information could be sent through the Expeditions Commission of your National Federation (such as the American Alpine Club), but we would prefer to receive it directly by post, fax, or e-mail. Please send it to:
UIAA Expeditions Commission
7 Sorbonne, Ardilea Estate
Dublin 14, Ireland.
All the Annual Lists (1996, 97, 98, 99, 2000) are on the UIAA Website: www.uiaa.ch. Look for the Expeditions Commission section. Hard copies of the Annual Lists may be obtained from the address above by sending an A5 (legal-sized) self-addressed envelope and three international postal coupons.
Information comes from many different sources, sometimes hand-written, often with different spellings for the same name. We do our best to provide accurate information but neither the UIAA nor the Expeditions Commission nor any of the officers or members of these bodies nor our sources can be held responsible for the accuracy of the information in this List. Appearance of an entry in this List does NOT mean its correctness has been verified.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the mountaineers who have sent me information and also (in no particular order) the many other sources which have played a vital role in helping to make the lists complete: Servei General d’Informaciô de Muntanya, Harish Kapadia, High Mountain Sports (Lindsay Griffin), Risk (Arkadi Klepinin), CISDAE, Japanese Alpine News (Tom Nakamura), American Alpine Journal, Alpine Journal, Elizabeth Hawley, DAV (Prof Dr Welsch and H Dick), PZA (Grzegorz Glazek), FEME.