Riccardo Beltramo, Stefano Duglio, Elena Pandolfi
ISTITUTO DI CERTIFICAZIONE DELLA QUALITA'
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche - Università di Torino
Piazza Arbarello 8, 2° piano - 10122 Torino (Italy)
Tel: +39 011 6705715 - Fax: +39 011 6705720
Istituto Nazionale della Montagna
Piazza dei Caprettari 70 - 00186 Roma (Italy)
Tel: +39 06 68192366 - Fax: +39 06 6878397
International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation
Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme
Official Site: Monbijoustrasse 61 Postfach - CH-3000 Bern 23 (Switzerland)
Tel: +41 (0)31 370 1828 - Fax: +41 (0)31 370 1838
Via San Bernardino 145 - 24126 - Bergamo (Italy)
Tel: +39 035 3230511 - Fax: +39 035 3230541
Via Gaetano Giardino 4 (P.za Diaz) - 20123 Milano (Italy)
Tel: +39 02 8069171 - Fax: +39 02 86465295
I believe that all mountaineers who are somewhat sensitive have felt unease "polluting"
during expeditions, not only in terms of waste but also regarding their impacts on people of
While the effects of big expeditions are more tangible, small ones are subtly just as
Personally, I don't deny having felt uneasy in places like the mountains of the Andes or the
Himalayas, bringing my "load of western civilization".
On the other hand, I gradually reached the awareness that the desire to crystallize mountains
and their populations in an image of our dreams is a form of selfishness, in a world nevertheless
Since 1996, I have been promoting sustainable development, towards both nature and
humanity, within the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA - Union
Internationale des Association d’Alpinisme).
The work done during the Italian K2 2004 expedition and the resulting guidelines are an
expression of a mature and eco-compatible approach, as well as a sign of solidarity, founded in
an impressive scientific basis, towards the extra-European mountains and their inhabitants.
Paola Virginia Gigliotti
UIAA Board Member
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche – Università di Torino
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 2
Riccardo Beltramo, Stefano Duglio, Elena Pandolfi
GUIDELINES FOR ECO-COMPATIBLE EXPEDITIONS
1. Introduction to the guidelines............................................................................................. 5
2. Planning an eco-compatible expedition............................................................................ 6
2.1 Description and aims of the Planning phase....................................................................... 6
2.1.1 Determination of duration and period.................................................................................... 7
2.1.2 Determination of activities ..................................................................................................... 8
2.1.3 Choice of materials, equipment and systems........................................................................ 8
220.127.116.11 The choice of foods ....................................................................................................................... 10
2.1.4 Allocation of responsibilities ................................................................................................ 12
2.1.5 Definition of environmental constraints ............................................................................... 16
2.1.6 Determining environmental criticalities................................................................................ 17
18.104.22.168 Environmental aspects/impacts and preventative actions............................................................. 17
2.1.7 Preparation of an “Environmental Memorandum” for mountaineers and local personnel ... 20
3. Carrying out an eco-compatible expedition..................................................................... 21
3.1 Description and aims of the carrying-out phase................................................................ 21
3.2 Environmental aspects and impacts................................................................................... 23
3.2.1 Waste.................................................................................................................................. 23
3.2.2 Drains.................................................................................................................................. 27
3.2.3 Energy................................................................................................................................. 28
3.2.4 Atmospheric emissions ....................................................................................................... 29
3.2.5 Resource management....................................................................................................... 29
4. Concluding an eco-compatible expedition ...................................................................... 31
4.1 Description and aims of the Conclusion phase ................................................................. 31
4.2 Environmental aspects and impacts................................................................................... 32
REFERENCE BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................. 33
ANNEX 1 ..................................................................................................................................... 33
ANNEX 2 ..................................................................................................................................... 41
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 3
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 4
1. Introduction to the guidelines
These “Guidelines for eco-compatible expeditions” have been compiled from the experience
gained through the research project “Definition and application of eco-compatibility criteria
for setting up an Environmental Management System for the Italian expedition to K2 in
2004”. The study was promoted by the Department of Commodities Sciences of the University of
Turin, carried out with the financial and organisational support of the National Mountain Institute –
IMONT – and developed in collaboration with the Ev-K2-CNR Committee through the “K2 Project
2004 – 50 years later”.
The project involved the planning and implementation of an Environmental Management
System in line with the International Standard UNI EN ISO 14001 - Systems of Environmental
Management – prerequisites and guide for use (published in November 1996) - for the “K2 2004
Expedition – 50 years later” and a series of experiments connected to it.
The validity of the system was examined by a third accredited body, the Certiquality Quality
Certification Institute in Milan, which recognised that the documentation system fulfilled the
precepts set out in the relevant Standard and the system was implemented, with the option to
simplify and/or update it at a later date.
In compiling the “Guidelines for eco-compatible expeditions”, some concepts arose again that
were adopted from the experience mentioned above. Specifically these were the division of the
expedition into phases, from the point of view of the lifecycle; the identification of environmental
aspects associated with each phase; and the defining of roles and responsibilities aimed at
managing and lessening the impact on the environment.
These Guidelines aim to provide a basis for anyone organising a mountaineering expedition
in compliance with criteria of environmental compatibility, whilst acknowledging that the personal
experience of whoever puts them into practice and the conditions in which they are working could
lead them to adopt somewhat different behaviour to that described in this document, whilst
nonetheless respecting the ecosystem in which the expedition is to take place.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 5
2. Planning an eco-compatible expedition
2.1 Description and aims of the Planning phase
In the lifecycle of the Expedition, this is the phase in which the activities required for the
preparation and carrying out of the expedition must be planned.
In the planning phase, there needs to be a continuous exchange of information between all
members of the expedition, so that the worktable that takes shape is useful for discussing the
principles of how the expedition can be managed in a sustainable manner.
During planning, in order for the expedition to qualify as eco-compatible, once the
“mountaineering objective” has been chosen it is necessary to act in various directions, which can
be summed up as follows:
2.1.1. determination of the duration and period;
2.1.2. determination of the activities;
2.1.3. choice of materials, equipment and systems;
2.1.4. allocation of responsibilities to the various parties;
2.1.5. definition of environmental constraints;
2.1.6. determination of environmental criticalities;
2.1.7. preparation of a code of conduct for mountaineers and local personnel.
It is good practice to insist on finding solutions that allow the prevention of environmental
impact considering that each subsequent “cure” to be carried out during the expedition could, for
independent reasons, not be practicable.
The concepts described can be seen on a flow chart (FIG. 1) that shows the necessary
phases for guaranteeing the environmental compatibility of an expedition right from its first
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 6
PLANNING AND EQUIPPING THE EXPEDITION
Determination of Definition of
duration and period environmental contraints
Determination of Determining
activities environmental criticalities
Choice of materials, Writing a code
equipment and of conduct
Allocation of Training and
responsabilities communication actions
FIG. 1: Flow chart of expedition planning
2.1.1 Determination of duration and period
The duration and period in which a mountain expedition should be carried out depend on
where the activity is to take place.
As far as the period is concerned, if the expedition plans to climb a mountain in Nepal, for
example, the best months are considered to be May, June, September and October, whereas if
the activity is intended to take place in the Austral Hemisphere, in the mountains of south
America (Patagonia, Cordillera Blanca, etc), the recommended months are normally February
The duration also depends on the place chosen. While, for example, the North face of
Everest in Chinese territory can be reached by car, the same cannot be said of the South face in
Nepalese territory, where 6 to 7 days trekking is needed (leaving from Lukla); this would of course
cause greater logistical difficulties which might increase the duration of the expedition.
So, when planning the expedition it is firstly necessary to consider the two variables
mentioned above, so as to define the needs in logistical terms.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 7
2.1.2 Determination of activities
The activities to take place at the location of the mountaineering expedition include:
Actions to carry out in the host country, before leaving on the trek
Arriving at the Base Camp (the trek can be managed by a specialist company or
Setting up the base camp, which includes:
o Accommodation activities.
o Catering activities.
o Activities for providing washing facilities.
o Communication activities.
Setting up the advanced camps.
Dismantling the camps.
Returning to own country.
Each of these activities generates environmental impacts which need to be managed. The
greater the attention paid during the planning phase for determining ad hoc solutions to lessen
environmental impact, the less pressure the expedition will place on the ecosystem.
The identification of environmental impacts (real and potential) and the measures for
controlling and lessening these impacts will be dealt with in the following chapters on carrying out
and concluding the expedition (Chapters 3 and 4).
2.1.3 Choice of materials, equipment and systems
The second step that needs to be taken regards the choice of materials needed for the
expedition, in terms of provisions of technical products for accommodation and climbing, food
provisions, radio communication equipment and anything that the expedition deems necessary
for the project to be a success.
If we think in terms of the eco-compatibility of the expedition, at this stage it is necessary to
define criteria for selecting suppliers and products; these should be based not only on parameters
related to cost and technical characteristics, but also on environmental factors, or prerequisites
that are likely to make the materials easier to use at subsequent stages. The choice and
qualification of suppliers is the focal point on which to base practices for the correct management
of the real and potential environmental impacts that a mountaineering expedition produces.
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The final qualification of the suppliers is up to the Expedition Leader, who is normally the
person in the group who has the most experience, and who must, however, consider the opinions
of the other mountaineers involved.
At this stage, the Expedition Leader can also decide to use the help of another person to
manage the environmental aspects of the expedition (see Paragaph 2.1.4. – Allocation of
In any case, the Expedition Leader alone is responsible for the final selection of suppliers on
the basis of the criteria adopted by the expedition.
The criteria for choosing suppliers have some priorities, according to the products necessary,
which can be summarised as follows:
With regard to technical products for the climb, the most important criteria is that of
the product’s technical characteristics, on which the mountaineer’s safety depends.
Often, mountaineers are “fond” of certain models of boots, for example, and it is
hard to persuade them to change brand or model. Climbing equipment can be
bought that is manufactured by companies which have implemented and received
certification for their Environmental Management System, in line with the UNI EN
ISO 14001 standard and which therefore guarantee that their own environmental
issues are managed correctly.
As for personal hygiene products, an eco-compatible expedition must aim to use
products with a high degree of biodegradability or which have environmental product
certifications, and the mountaineers involved should be encouraged to use them.
As far as food provisions are concerned, the right middle ground should be sought
between keeping costs down, the nutritional characteristics of the products (see
Paragraph 22.214.171.124 – The choice of foodstuffs) and their packaging, considering that
with less packaging, less waste will be produced that will need to be disposed of
during the expedition. It is also possible to find many food manufacturers with the
ISO 140001 certification or registered with EMAS.
If we look at environmental criteria, the factors that need to be assessed for before selecting
suppliers can be ascertained as follows:
Asking potential suppliers whether they possess environmental product certifications
(type I environmental labels – ISO 14024 – Ecolabel, Blauer Engel, Nordic Swan;
type III environmental labels – Environmental product declarations such as the
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 9
Asking potential suppliers if they have environmental certifications or registrations
for the ISO 14001 system and/or EMAS Regulation;
Asking to show proof that they comply with current legislation on the environment;
Evaluation of whether firms have self-regulatory codes on environmental matters,
eco-compatible product lines in accordance with criteria established through
laboratory tests, and sponsorships of research and studies on environmental
protection, particularly if on the mountain environment.
As for radio communication equipment, satellite equipment, electricity generating systems
etc, these must be inspected with check-ups prior to departure so as to reduce the likelihood of
malfunctions and subsequent emergency repairs that would not only cause logistical and
organisational problems during field work but could also have environmental consequences
resulting from waste and/or scrap materials to be disposed of in situ.
Safety aspects of the expedition are connected to the faultless efficiency of the electricity
generating equipment and the communication system. This is why it is useful to adopt criteria that
take into account an excess of these systems. Resources are only used in excess when the
safety of the mountaineers takes priority over environmental protection.
The check-up of systems and equipment must be recorded on a form.
126.96.36.199 The choice of foods
The first consideration to make when choosing food provisions regards the energy
requirements that mountaineers must be guaranteed during the activity, taking into account their
energy consumption whilst doing the climb.
The energy requirement corresponds to the amount of calories (Kcal or Cal) needed to equal
out the balance of the human body’s intakes/outputs, and which will allow the body weight to
The outputs include all those activities that our body is put through, they require a variable
amount of energy and are connected to:
1. the basic vital functions: cellular metabolism, breathing, heart contractions, digestion
2. the need to maintain a constant body temperature when faced with changes in the
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 10
3. carrying out voluntary muscle work, effectively during any human activity (walking,
The intakes, meanwhile, are essentially connected to diet.
The bibliography includes several studies on the aforementioned theme.
Put more simply, the basal calorie requirement is equivalent to around 1 Kcal for each kg of
body weight per hour. For example, this means that a person weighing 70 kg has a daily basal
calorie requirement, in other words not counting the requirements which derive from carrying out
voluntary muscular work, of around 1,700 Kcal/day (the result of 1 Kcal x 70 kg of body weight x
24 hours – while it has been calculated that a person with a body weight of 70 kg with a job with
average energy expenditure has a calorie requirement of around 2,400 Kcal per day).
The figure above of 1,700 Kcal/day must be added to the energy needed to carry out a
specific physical activity. In the case of a mountaineering expedition, this corresponds to the
values in the table below (taken from: F. Berghod, “Guida all’alimentazione in montagna” (“Guide
to dietary requirements in the mountains”) Zanichelli, Bologna, 1982).
Walking (6 km/h) 3.7
Easy climbing from 3.4 to 10
Climbing on steep rocks from 6 to 15
Climbing on very steep rocks from 6 to 17
According to this data, for six hours of walking (the average length of an approach trek) a
person with a body weight of around 70 kg would have a calorie requirement of approximately
1500 Kcal, which must be added to the 1700 Kcal of the basal requirement (total: 3200 Kcal). Six
to seven hours climbing on simple slopes would mean a calorie requirement of almost double
(3000 Kcal), which should be added to the basal requirement (total: 4700 Kcal).
In addition to the calorie requirement, it is also necessary to consider the need to provide a
balanced diet. To define this, it is important to know some of the key dietary principles.
Other than water, the nutrients are:
proteins or protides: 1 g of protein provides 4 Kcal;
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 11
carbohydrates or glucides: 1 g of carbohydrates gives 4 Kcal;
fats or lipids: 1 g of fat gives 9 Kcal;
Of course, assessing the right diet for mountain activity is far from simple, because the calorie
requirement varies from person to person depending on age, sex, metabolism and state of health,
without forgetting that personal tastes could make people opt for certain foods over others.
Furthermore, above 4000 metres “external” factors also come into play, such as low
temperatures, hypoxia, which can reduce the climber’s appetite, and the lower capacity of
intestinal absorption that can manifest itself in a serious of gastrointestinal disorders. Of course,
all of these disorders vary from person to person.
So, once the objective of the expedition has been defined (number of participants and
destination) and its length (days needed for the approach and hours walking per day, days
needed for the climb and trekking back), it is possible to establish in part some arrangements that
aim at guaranteeing that the climbers have a balanced diet.
The diet should be made up of all the nutrients described above, in the following percentages,
indicated in the LARN – Livelli di Assunzione Giornalieri Raccomandati di Energia e Nutrienti per
la Popolazione Italiana (Recommended Daily Intake Levels of Energy and Nutrients for the Italian
Population) - drawn up by the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, last revised in 1996:
20-30% maximum of lipids;
As mentioned in paragraph 2.1.3 – Choice of materials, equipment and systems – alongside
the criterion of daily requirement it is necessary to add two other criteria; namely, the cost of
products and, if thinking in terms of eco-compatibility, the packaging of the foods. For these,
please refer to paragraph 188.8.131.52. – Environmental aspects/impacts and preventative actions –
which deals partly which this theme, and the qualification of the suppliers as discussed
2.1.4 Allocation of responsibilities
In this phase, the environmental responsibilities or rather roles within the organisation of the
expedition are defined.
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Identifying precise, shared responsibilities enables all members of the expedition to be aware
of the environmental implications resulting from their activity, whilst also understanding the
actions that need to be carried out to avoid or at least limit the impacts.
To this end, it may be useful to draw up a simple organigram of names on the expedition,
highlighting the tasks assigned to the various parties and, consequently, what their
responsibilities are (FIG. 2).
Guides and Porters Cook and Assistants
FIG. 2: Organigram of a typical expedition
Normally, on a mountaineering expedition the roles are interchangeable to a great extent. All
the members know how activities are carried out at a Base Camp. In any case, by identifying
responsibilities, it is possible to avoid the overlapping of roles and duties.
If the expedition includes a high number of participants (generally speaking, over 10
mountaineers), it might be necessary to give one person as overall responsibility for managing
the environmental aspects of the expedition, who is to all effects a member of the expedition. This
person should be designated by the Expedition Leader and made known to all participants.
Similarly, it may also be necessary to designate a Logistics Manager for the expedition; that
is, someone who is dedicated to establishing the expedition’s necessities in terms of materials
and equipment, to making contact with suppliers and with the local agency dealing with logistics
in the host country.
As can be seen from the organigram, the Environmental Manager and the Logistics Manager
work under the Expedition Leader: the Environmental Manager, in particular, must deal with all
environmental aspects of the expedition and need only answer to the Exhibition Leader who
designated him or her.
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If, on the other hand, the expedition involves a small number of participants, the figure of
Environmental Manager, and the figure of Logistics Manager, may be the same person as the
The Specialised Company dealing with the logistical organisation during the expedition, if
present, unlike the Environmental Manager and Logistics Manager, is not actually a member of
the expedition, but can be described as the supplier of a service: in this case it is necessary to
inform and raise awareness in the company regarding the criteria of eco-compatibility adopted by
the expedition, so that the company does not work against the expedition’s “environmental
Local personnel, who are usually made available by the specialised company, should be
considered as employees of the expedition: indeed, for the entire duration the locals are in close
contact with the mountaineers (if there are high-altitude porters it is highly likely that some of
them reach the summit together with the mountaineers). As such, they must follow the
instructions given by the Expedition Leader.
The environmental responsibilities of the parties involved are therefore, as a rough initial idea,
The Leader is responsible for the overall operations of the expedition and therefore, also for
In particular, his environmental responsibilities consist of:
ensuring that the concepts of environmental compatibility are divulged, understood,
put into practice and maintained at all levels and by all members of the expedition;
designating an Environmental Manager (if necessary), giving him or her specific
autonomy for ensuring that the eco-compatible guidelines adopted by the expedition
are applied and maintained;
designating a Logistics Manager (if necessary), giving him the responsibility of
identifying the materials and equipment necessary for the expedition;
providing the Environmental Manager with the necessary resources (human and
financial) for applying that indicated in the guidelines.
choosing suppliers based also on environmental criteria;
defining the responsibilities and specific roles of all parties involved in the
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 14
If the Environmental Manager and Logistics Manager are not present, the Leader’s tasks also
defining the raw materials necessary for the expedition;
carrying out checks on suppliers of mountaineering materials and other raw
materials and choosing the suppliers also on the basis of environmental
managing external environmental correspondence (with local institutions, Non
Governmental Associations working in the country, other expeditions at the Base
management and control of the various environmental aspects identified;
defining time-scale and methods of check-up examinations of the equipment and
arranging actions to raise awareness in the specialised company and training
members of the expedition and local personnel.
Environmental Manager (if present)
The Environmental Manager must ensure that the eco-compatibility criteria are applied and
maintained active. To this end, the Environmental Manager must update the Expedition Leader
on his work and inform him promptly should there be any conduct that could compromise the
success of these operations.
He must also:
assist the Logistics Manager in identifying the systems, equipment and products
necessary for the expedition;
carry out checks on the suppliers of mountaineering materials and other raw
materials and assist the Expedition Leader in choosing suppliers;
manage the flow of external environmental communication with local institutions,
Non Governmental Associations and other expeditions at the Base Camp;
arrange actions aimed at raising awareness in the specialised company and training
members of the expedition and local personnel;
manage and control the various environmental aspects that have been identified;
manage the time-scale and methods for check-up tests on systems and equipment.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 15
Logistics Manager (if present)
Must, with the support of the Environmental Manager, define the systems, equipment and
products necessary for the expedition. Must also maintain contacts with the Agency specialised in
logistics in situ.
They must behave in line with the indications of the guidelines adopted by the expedition, and
summarised in the environmental memorandum (see Paragraph 2.1.7).
Some of the mountaineers designated by the Expedition Leader must take care of
dismantling the advanced camps and the Base Camp.
Specialised Company (if present)
Must behave in line with the instructions of the Expedition Leader or his representative, the
Environmental Manager, summarised in the “Environmental Memorandum”.
Must behave in line with the instructions of the Expedition Leader or his representative,
the Environmental Manager, summarised in the “Environmental Memorandum”.
2.1.5 Definition of environmental constraints
The fourth step is that of assessing the environmental constraints associated with the
expedition being organised. This consists of analysis the relevant environmental legislation that
applies to the expedition, and works at three levels.
The first level is evaluating the legislation of the host country, which is a necessary condition
but not enough in itself: indeed, mountaineering expeditions take place in remote parts of the
world and in countries in which, often, environmental legislation has not yet been fully developed,
and where environmental awareness may differ greatly from that in the expedition members’ own
Should there be gaps in the legislation of the host country, it is import to also refer to the
environmental legislation of the country organising the expedition, and behave in compliance with
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Finally the third level; over the years, the U.I.A.A. – the International Mountaineering and
Climbing Federation – has produced various protocols in the attempt to give exhaustive answers
to the debate going on regarding the relationship between fragile eco-systems and international
The documents drawn up by the U.I.A.A. (see Annex 1) should be evaluated together with the
2.1.6 Determining environmental criticalities
Determining the environmental criticalities takes place at the same time as determining the
activities of the mountaineering expedition (see Paragraph 2.1.2).
During the planning phase, it is important to set up actions aimed at preventing and
minimising the potential impacts beforehand; while the instructions on how the various aspects
should be dealt with during the expedition itself are contained in the chapter on carrying out the
expedition (Chapter 3).
184.108.40.206 Environmental aspects/impacts and preventative actions
Waste must be minimised at the source. This can be done by choosing products that
are not over-packaged, by eliminating superfluous packaging before leaving one’s
own country or, as a second resort, in the host country before beginning the
When choosing the products, those packaged in PVC must be avoided.
Logistic necessities must be arranged beforehand, in terms of number of containers
for correct packing of waste, based on the number of participants and on experience
gained from previous expeditions.
Any action involving the use of technology in order to reduce the volume and weight
of waste to be transported back is desirable (for example, using a micro-incinerator
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Before leaving it is advisable to define with the trekking company the logistical
necessities for transporting waste containers on the way back from the Base Camp
(number of porters, timing and method) and insert this into the contractual clauses.
If the expedition is assisted by high-altitude porters, it is necessary to first establish
how the mountaineering equipment on the way up will be gathered (fixed ropes, etc.)
Drains and sewers
When choosing materials for toilet facilities, preference must be given to products
that are biodegradable or have environmentally compatible characteristics
recognised by an environmental official product mark (including detergents and
Precise points must first be identified at which toilet facilities can be installed. These
must be far from any water sources for drinking water, in definite places which
everybody should be informed of.
Power and emissions into the atmosphere
Preference must be given to systems for generating electric energy from renewable
sources (photovoltaic and wind power), so as to reduce atmospheric emissions.
The size of the system must be decided beforehand, evaluating the energy
requirements of the various uses.
The cells of the photovoltaic system must be hermetic, to avoid involuntary
leakages. It is better to choose those made of gel and not liquid ones, which could
leak if accidentally dropped.
If a generator set is being used, it is better to opt for supercharged models, to offset
the effect of the altitude and the resultant lowered atmospheric pressure, which
reduces the efficiency of combustion.
Management of resources
As for water resources, members of the expedition must be aware that they should
behave so as to prevent waste.
Actions to raise awareness.
A copy of the guidelines must be available and consultable at the Base Camp during
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One month prior to departure there should be a meeting for all members of the
expedition. The theme of this meeting should be the environmental practices
adopted by the expedition, and the “Memorandum for participants” should be
distributed and discussed (see Paragraph 2.1.7).
A copy of the Memorandum will also be delivered to the Tour Operators of both the
home country and the local interface who are dealing with the logistics of the
approach trek to the Base Camp. Consideration must be made on whether it is
necessary to translate the Memorandum into English (for Asia and Africa, for
example) or into Spanish (for South America), so as to facilitate training and
awareness of the local personnel assisting the mountaineers.
Layout of the Base Camp
In order to prevent any impacts on the environment, it is useful to draw up a layout of the
Base Camp before departure. This means previously defining how the expedition’s various tents
will be laid out.
FIG. 3 gives an indication of a typical standard layout of a Base Camp, although weather
conditions and physical conditions on the territory (such as heavy snowfall, for example) or
crowding could mean that some adjustments are necessary to the original plan.
Area set aside for
washing and toilet Waste Micro-
facilities disposal incinerator
Mountai Mountai Photovoltaic
neers’ neers’ system
tent tent Kitchen and communic-
tent ations tent
Mountai Mountai tent
Area set aside for
FIG. 3: Standard layout of a Base Camp
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The standard layout shown in FIG. 3 gives some general indications as to how to arrange the
various areas involved in the expedition, which we can summarize as follows:
1. It is good practice to situate the communal toilets at least 50 metres from the place
where the kitchen and canteen tents are to be set up, but also and above all from
the area that is to be used for the supply of water for catering or human
consumption, so as to avoid possible contamination.
2. The waste disposal area must be set apart in an area that is clearly marked out and
recognisable whilst not too far from the kitchen tent and food supplies tent.
3. A tent for electric energy production apparatus must be identified in order to protect
the equipment from possible atmospheric factors.
2.1.7 Preparation of an “Environmental Memorandum” for mountaineers and local personnel
The final step in the planning phase derives from the activities described so far; this is the
writing of an “Environmental Memorandum”, which must be shared by all members of the
expedition. It is therefore necessary that it is handed out promptly to allow any comments to be
added to it.
The final document, which will be produced after the members of the expedition have
checked it, must be a clear, comprehensive summary of environmentally correct conduct that
should be followed during the expedition.
Following the same logic, it is also necessary to prepare an “Environmental Memorandum” for
the local personnel, which must be delivered to the manager of the local agency or directly to
personnel as soon as possible (in this case it will be necessary to have it translated into the
An example of the content and structure of the memorandum can be found in Annex 2 of the
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3. Carrying out an eco-compatible expedition
3.1 Description and aims of the carrying-out phase
The phase named “Carrying out the expedition” refers to the activity that takes place in situ
and consists of the phases set out in Paragraph 2.1.2, which are the following:
Actions to be carried out in the host country, before leaving on the trek.
Approach to the Base Camp.
Setting up the Base Camp, which involves:
o Accommodation activities.
o Catering activities.
o Activities to provide hygiene facilities.
o Communication activities.
Setting up the advanced camps.
The final two sub-phases, the dismantling of the camps and return to the home country, are
dealt with in the chapter on Concluding the expedition (Chapter 4).
From an environmental management point of view, the carrying-out phase involves
coordinating a series of actions aimed at minimising as far as possible the impacts of the
expedition while it is being carried out; to do this, policies must be set up in connection with
preventing and destroying pollutants deriving from the expedition.
The flow chart shown in FIG. 4 summarises the various stages of this activity and reiterates
the actions carried out at a preventative level during the planning phase, with the choice of
equipment and the identification of environmental regulations and of environmental aspects and
It is necessary to determine the environmental impacts of the expedition (whether real or
potential) while it is being carried out, and set up actions for the appropriate management of
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 21
a. Legislation of host country.
b. Legislation of country of origin.
c. U.I.A.A protocols.
equipment and food
CARRYING OUT THE EXPEDITION
1. Before departure on trek.
2. Approaching the base camp.
Resources 3. Setting up the base camp.
4. Setting up the advanced camps. Sporting
5. Accommodation. result
2. Fuel. 6. Catering.
7. Provision of hygiene facilities.
ENVIRONMENTAL OUTPUTS: REAL AND/OR POTENTIAL IMPACTS
Waste: Energy & atmospheric Water drainage: Soil:
1. Solid waste: emissions: 1. Grey water Potential
a. plastic; Deriving from: (washing impact due to
b. paper and cardboard; 1. Catering activities facilities and accidental
c. glass; using GPL dishwashing). spillage.
d. nylon; cylinders. 2. Black water
e. aluminium; 2. Generation of (toilet facilities).
f. tin; electric energy 3. Leaking drains.
g. ash; (electricity
h. mud; generating group
i. other. powered by petrol
2. Organic residues. or diesel).
3. Dangerous waste:
a. Photovoltaic system batteries;
b. Fuel cylinders (GPL);
c. Alkaline batteries;
d. Medical waste.
FIG. 4: Flow chart of carrying out an expedition
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 22
3.2 Environmental aspects and impacts
Each of the activities specified leads to environmental aspects and impacts that can be
summarised as follows:
Management of resources.
The production of waste is one of the most problematic environmental aspects of
mountaineering expeditions. Indeed, often the harshness of the locations of the Base Camps
does not allow host countries to organise a waste collection service, so that they delegate this
task to the expeditions themselves or make them pay an environmental tax before they leave.
Reasoning in terms of eco-compatibility and the life cycle of the expedition, the appropriate
management of the various types of waste should not only take place upon arrival at the Base
Camp, but before leaving for the approach trek.
Prior to departure
Should there be any “last minute purchases”, it is important to follow the criteria established
during the planning phase of the expedition: clearly, it will not be possible to qualify the suppliers
as indicated in Paragraph 2.1.3. –Choice of materials, equipment and systems – but it is possible
to adopt some correct management practices such as, for example, removing packaging before
departure or choosing products with a high degree of biodegradability.
With the aim of simplifying the subsequent management of waste, the Expedition Leader or
the Environmental Manager must find out from the specialised company if there are any centres
that collect certain types of waste, so as to have a better understanding of how to separate
For the same purpose, the Expedition Leader must establish a rapport of collaboration and
mutual information with the Non Governmental Associations working in the area.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 23
Meetings with representatives of the local agencies and with the Non Governmental
Associations are also an excellent opportunity for informing them of the eco-compatibility
guidelines adopted by the expedition.
Approach to the Base Camp
The approach to the Base camp is usually managed by a specialised company.
In fact, the trekking company is the supplier of a service, and the Expedition Leader or
Environmental Manager should ensure that the company manages its environmental variables in
line with the mission of the expedition.
Generally speaking, there are some rules for good management that must be followed, such
as not leaving uncontrolled amounts of waste (whether solid or liquid) on the ground nearby the
approach path or water courses. Instead, waste must be collected and separated so that at the
end of the approach trek, should there be enough to merit it, it can immediately be transported
If the stop off points on the approach trek have been equipped with containers for collecting
waste, these must be used, according to any indications given on the illustrative signs (if present),
despite the fact that common practice differs from this suggestion.
Setting up the Base camp
Waste must be left inside containers, set apart in a dedicated area and must be, depending
on the type of waste:
a) Destroyed on the spot;
b) Passed on to the host country;
c) Taken back to the country of origin, at the end of the expedition.
a) Waste that can be destroyed on the spot
If the expedition is equipped with an incinerating system (micro-incinerator), small pieces of
paper, cardboard and wood, which should ideally be kept in a clearly marked container, can be
Other fragments of waste such as plastic, nylon, rubber etc. should not be incinerated.
Incineration should not take place in the open air, to avoid ash being dispersed. Instead, ash
should be collected and placed in the general waste.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 24
b) Waste that can be passed on to the host country
This is generally solid waste deriving from food packaging and catering:
general waste (to which ashes from incineration should be added).
An area must be set up for storing and collecting waste. To prevent people not taking part in
the expedition from leaving their waste, there must be visible checks on the area for waste
collection, and only people taking part in the expedition must be allowed access to it.
Waste must be collected in separate categories, according to practice in the host country.
Waste collected separately must be kept in clearly labelled containers and once a certain
weight has been reached, (depending on indications of the various governments on how much
weight one porter can carry), the containers must be sealed and stored until they are taken down
the mountain to the first available recycling or disposal centre.
Containers must be identified with a label showing the type of waste they contain, or a code
associated with it, and they must be numbered sequentially if there is more than one container for
the same kind of waste.
Waste consisting of plastic, aluminium and tin must be compressed so as reduce their
volume. For the same reason, glass must be broken into pieces, being careful not to leave pieces
on the ground.
Organic remains, in other words food leftovers, must be kept until they are transported down
hill and should not be left around the Base camp: indeed, at certain altitudes organic remains can
take a very long time to be broken down.
In particular, food remains should be kept inside biodegradable bags that can be buried once
they have been taken down hill to lower altitudes.
At intervals, depending on the availability of the porters, how full the containers are and how
many there are of them, waste must be sent to the first available centre for collection and
disposal. To prevent containers from being lost during transportation down the mountain, a form
must be filled in, consisting of two sections:
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 25
1. the first section must be filled in by the Expedition Leader or the Environmental
Manager and show the code of the container, its weight and content and the date it
2. the second section is for cross checking, and like the first it shows the code of the
container, its weight and content and its arrival date, and must be filled in by a local
member of staff of the agency.
It is possible to insert a section on which the porter’s name is shown, if this is considered
Medicines, if unused, cannot be catalogued as waste, but should in any case be dealt with by
the expedition doctor, in compliance with the indications given in the Guidelines and the
At the end of the expedition, medicines that have not been used can be delivered to local
hospitals, only to qualified personnel and only if they contain the instructions leaflet (preferably in
c) Waste that must be taken back to the country of origin.
batteries (head lamps);
accumulator cells from the photovoltaic systems;
fuel containers (kerosene, diesel, etc.);
gas cylinders (GPL);
These types of waste must be taken back to the country of origin at the end of the expedition
for final disposal or, in the case of mountaineering material, may be returned to the suppliers if
this is a condition of the sales contract.
Unused mountaineering material can of course be donated to the local people.
For the waste that must be taken back to the country of origin it is also a good idea to record
the amounts on the forms described in Point b), so that they can be divided from other types of
waste more easily.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 26
Setting up the advanced camps
Unlike the Base Camp, the layout of which can at least partly be defined prior to departure
(see Paragraph 220.127.116.11.), for the advance camps it is not possible to define the layout of the tents.
Consequently this is decided on the spot by the mountaineers, based on the conditions of the
terrain and their own personal experience. However, it is possible to plan the number and size of
tents beforehand. With regard to the climbing strategies, it is possible to plan the types and
amounts of materials that will need to be transported to the advanced camps.
The mountaineers and high altitude porters (if there are any) should therefore be asked to
place all solid waste (food packaging, flat batteries) that is produced during the climb inside a
special container in their backpacks; they should hand the waste in at the base camp, where it
will later be stored in the correct manner.
To prevent and minimise the production of waste, mountaineers and porters who are to climb
to the advanced camps must have food rations packaged in such as way as to reduce packaging,
without compromising the preservation of the foodstuffs.
Approach to the Base Camp
With regard to black water, during the approach to the Base Camp, facilities (if they exist)
made available at the camps along the way should be used.
Local personnel should be informed (by the Expedition Leader or the Environmental
Manager) that they should behave in the ways indicated.
If there are no suitable facilities for this purpose, it is necessary to avoid using water courses
and to bury the remaining waste.
As for grey water (water from washing dishes and clothes, and personal hygiene), impact is
lessened by choosing biodegradable products. In any case, rinse water must not be poured into
Local personnel should be informed (by the Expedition Leader or the Environmental
Manager) that they should behave in the ways indicated.
Setting up the Base camp
A specially equipped area with toilet facilities for mountaineers and local personnel must be
defined for managing black water, with one or more toilet tents. Local personnel must be made
aware that they should use the tents set up for this purpose.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 27
The toilet tents should be located at least 50 m away from the canteen tent and from the area
set aside for water supply for catering and human consumption, and must not be located on water
If there is more than one expedition at the Base Camp, the Expedition Leader or
Environmental Manager must inform the other teams to behave as indicated.
The toilet tents must have a container for collecting toilet paper which, depending on the
management solution adopted, may be incinerated in the micro-incinerator or stored inside the
paper or cardboard container and then taken back down the mountain.
As for grey water (from dishwashing, clothes washing and personal hygiene), the same
considerations apply, as described above.
Approach to the Base camp
For the approach to the Base Camp, the energy needs of the expedition are minimal. As
such, it may be a good idea to purchase a small photovoltaic panel with direct power supply and
an adaptor lead (like car cigarette lighters) to power small appliances (cameras, Personal
Setting up the Base Camp
For generating electrical energy the expedition should aim to use low environmental impact
generating energy (photovoltaic and wind energy), so that the traditional electric generator set
need only be used in an emergency.
If the expedition opts for an “isolated” photovoltaic system or a hybrid wind-photovoltaic
system, the system should be carefully sized in proportion to the real demands of use (to be
defined during the planning stage), so as to optimise the logistics and transportation of the
The batteries of the photovoltaic accumulator system must be hermetic so as to avoid
leakages of polluting liquid substances in the case of breakages during transportation.
At the end of the expedition the batteries, together with the other components, must be taken
back to the country of origin, unless arrangements have been made beforehand with the local
authorities to donate them to hospitals or schools, for example.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 28
With the exception of the photovoltaic panels or the aerogenerator in the case of wind energy,
the system, consisting of the battery block, inverter and charge regulator, must be positioned
inside a tent set up for that purpose, which can only be accessed by staff on the expedition.
Should the expedition decide to use an electric generator set, fuel for running it must be
stored away from heat sources.
When choosing batteries, the expedition must:
1. for the head lamps, choose energy-saving models (LED) which, for the same
amount of use, require less batteries compared to traditional head lamps.
2. for other equipment (digital cameras, cameras, computers, etc) choose
3.2.4 Atmospheric emissions
Approaching and setting up the base camp
The main sources of atmospheric emissions are:
the use of gas and/or kerosene cylinders for cooking food;
the use of an electric generator set: having alternative energy systems means it is
use of the micro-incinerator (if there is one): incinerable waste consists of paper,
cardboard and wood.
3.2.5 Resource management.
Approaching and setting up the base camp
With regard to the water resource, the expedition must operate with the aim of avoiding
waste, conduct which is typical of mountaineering expeditions.
Indeed, even if water can be easily found at the location, large amounts of energy are needed
for drawing it, and lots of time and expense is required for the fuel needed to boil it.
As a result, water consumption produces environmental impacts both in terms of consumption
of resources and in terms of atmospheric emissions.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 29
Usually it is the local personnel (cook or assistant) responsible for provisioning water who,
based on experience, are able to understand the amounts necessary and to avoid wastage.
The Environmental Memorandum must indicate the need to minimise water consumption, and
the Expedition Leader or Environmental Manager must make mountaineers aware of this issue.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 30
4. Concluding an eco-compatible expedition
4.1 Description and aims of the Conclusion phase
The “Conclusion of the expedition” refers to all the activities that take place once sporting
objectives have been reached. In particular, the conclusion consists of two stages:
1. Dismantling the camps.
2. Return to home country.
Whilst prevention was the key concept during the planning phase of the expedition, in the
expedition’s conclusion the key concept is control, in other words the need to plan actions (and
therefore responsibilities and roles) so that the Base camp and the advanced camps are
dismantled with respect for the environment, minimising the human impact deriving from the
The following flow chart (FIG. 5) illustrates this concept.
CONCLUSION OF THE EXPEDITION
Dismantling the Solid waste
Return to home
FIG. 5: Flow chart of the conclusion of the expedition
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 31
4.2 Environmental aspects and impacts
The environmental impacts of the “Conclusion of the expedition” phase are linked to the
correct management of the types of waste produced by dismantling the camps (Base Camp and
advanced camps) and the return to the country of origin.
The waste is of the same types produced while the expedition is being carried out, and must
be dealt with in the same ways as described in Paragraph 3.2.1.
Dismantling of the Base Camp
At the end of the expedition it is necessary to dismantle the Base Camp, leaving the lay-bys
and areas around the tents in the best possible condition it terms of cleanliness
Local personnel must be made aware that they should behave in the same way.
Dismantling of the advanced camps
At the end of the expedition, a group of mountaineers designated by the Expedition Leader
should retrieve the mountaineering material used on the climb to the summit (fixed ropes and any
materials that have been left at the advanced camps). This should be done in compliance with the
safety regulations that underlie the sustainability of the expedition. This task could be given to the
high-altitude porters (if there are any, in which case it will be necessary to make certain that the
task given to them is actually carried out.
Should it be necessary to leave the fixed ropes on the mountain to allow other expeditions to
climb up the same route, the Expedition Leader (or the Environmental Manager, if there is one),
must inform the other groups about retrieving the materials.
Retrieved mountaineering equipment must be taken back to the country of origin or, of
course, it could be donated to the porters or guides.
Any waste that is produced must be disposed of in the correct manner in order to check
environmental aspects at the Base Camp.
The return home involves a return trek that must be done in the opposite direction. For this,
conduct must be in line with the indications given in the sections on the Approach to the Base
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 32
R. Beltramo, B. Cuzzolin, Manuale-tipo per la realizzazione di un Sistema di gestione
ambientale dei rifugi di montagna, Edizioni l'Eubage, Aosta, August 2001
UNI EN ISO 14001, Systems of Environmental Management – Prerequisites and guide
for use, November 1996
E. Vesce, R. Beltramo, E. Pandolfi, Marchi ambientali di prodotto: un’analisi critica, DE
QUALITATE, February 2004
R. Beltramo, E. Vesce, E. Pandolfi, L. Chiesa, E. Sciutto, Marchi ambientali di prodotto:
diffusione e confronto tra criteri relativi al prodotto, DE QUALITATE, April 2004
Mountain Wilderness (editor), Free K2 – La prima avventura in soccorso delle grandi
montagne della Terra, Carsa Edizioni, Pescara, 1991
E. Carnevale, L. Marletta (Editor), Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la
Nutrizione, Tabelle di composizione degli alimenti, EDRA srl, Milan, 1997, aggiornamento
F. Berghod, Guida all’alimentazione in montagna, Zanichelli, Bologna, 1982
O. Pecchio R. Stradiotto, B. Cuzzolin, R. Beltramo, High altitude nutrition – Spontaneous
food intake and environmental impact od foodstuff packaging at Regina Margherita, in
Proceedings of the IV World Congress on Mountain Medicine and High Altitude
Physiology, Arica, Chile, 1-6 October 2000
http://www.montagna.org/K2-2004/2ecocompatibile.htm, section on eco-compatibility on
the official website of the “K2 2004 Expedition – 50 years later”
www.k3lavoriverticali.com/pdf/levissima_2000.pdf, Final Technical Report of the
“Progetto di bonifica del Campo Base del Monte Everest Lato Nord”, Milan, July 2000
http://www.sinu.it/, official website of the Italian Human Nutrition Society
http://www.uiaa.ch, official website of the International Mountaineering and Climbing
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 33
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 34
Riccardo Beltramo, Stefano Duglio, Elena Pandolfi
GUIDELINES FOR ECO-COMPATIBLE EXPEDITIONS
(INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAINEERING AND CLIMBING
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 35
The U.I.A.A has drawn up some important documents which can help mountaineers to carry
out their activities in harmony with the eco-system: the U.I.A.A. International Mountain Code,
U.I.A.A. Kathmandu Declaration on Mountain Activities (1982), U.I.A.A. Ethical Code for
Expeditions, The U.I.A.A. Summit Charter 2002, Recommended Code of Practice for High
Altitude Guided Commercial Expeditions, shown here below:
U.I.A.A. International Mountain Code
1. As a response to the growth of mountaineering the world body for mountaineers, the UIAA, has
developed a simple, but very worthwhile code, that the BMC's Access and Conservation Committee
2. Observe restrictions and access agreement negotiated by National Mountaineering Federations, and
avoid any actions which might endanger access.
3. Do not disturb nesting birds or other wildlife. Help protect flowers and respect sites of geological or
other scientific interest.
4. Avoid actions which cause unnecessary erosion (such as taking shortcuts on footpaths) and do not
leave unnecessary way marks.
5. Do not disturb livestock or damage crops or trees.
6. Do not leave any rubbish. Keep campsites clean. Avoid all risk of fire.
7. Where toilet facilities are not available, dispose of human waste in a sanitary manner (i.e. under
rocks, soil, sand, or in deep crevasses, away from water supplies, paths or climbs).
8. Do not pollute fresh water supplies. Avoid any unnecessary pollution to the snow pack.
9. Respect established climbing traditions in ethical matters such as the use of chalk, pitons or bolts,
etc. Avoid indiscriminate or excessive use of fixed equipment.
10. In mountain areas use motorised transport sparingly and park considerately. Make us of public
transport if practical.
11. On any excursions to remote or high mountains observe the UIAA Kathmandu Declaration and
Ethical Code for Expeditions.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 36
U.I.A.A. Kathmandu Declaration on Mountain Activities
1. Protect effectively the mountain environment, its flora, its fauna and its natural resources.
2. Reduce the negative impact of man's activities.
3. Respect the cultural heritage and dignity of local populations.
4. Stimulate activities that restore and rehabilitate the mountain world.
5. Encourage contacts between mountaineers of different countries, in a spirit of friendship, mutual
respect and peace.
6. Make available all information and education necessary to improve the relationship between man
and his environment.
7. Use only technology respecting the environment for energy needs and the disposal of waste.
8. Support developing mountain countries in efforts for the conservation of the environment.
9. Widen access to mountain regions unfettered by political considerations.
U.I.A.A. Ethical Code for Expeditions
1. Ensure all members of the team are aware of the regulations set by the host country, the objectives
of the Kathmandu Declaration, and the UIAA Ethical Code for Expeditions.
2. Adopt a sporting approach to the expedition's objectives and not use equipment or other resources
out of proportion to those objectives.
3. Conduct the expedition in a way that maintains the safety of its members and especially those it
4. Whenever possible and appropriate provide technical advice and training to members of the
expedition from the host country.
5. Give an accurate report about the expedition to the appropriate bodies.
6. Do not use equipment and materials owned by other expeditions without permission, and be
prepared to help local people and other expeditions if the need arises.
7. Leave the mountain environment as clean as possible at the end of the expedition.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 37
The U.I.A.A. Summit Charter 2002
Proposals for collaboration in relation to the International Year of Mountains 2002
The “Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme” - UIAA - welcomes the International Year of Mountains
2002 as confirmation that:
• National Governments and Agencies, UN and other international Agencies and voluntary bodies, recognise
the importance of mountains, and of mountain communities, throughout the world. And that
• They will direct their policies to enhance and sustain them.
With its 90 member federations, representing over 2.5 million mountaineers, climbers and trekkers, the UIAA
declares its commitment to the International Year of Mountains 2002 and related initiatives, on the basis that:
• Everyone should be able to enjoy the natural environment, including mountains and cliffs, with freedom of
• Mountaineering, climbing and trekking, practised responsibly, are compatible with conserving and sustaining
the natural environment.
• These activities contribute to the human spirit and to human endeavour, as freedom sports, with important
human and social values.
• They may be a major economic resource for mountain communities.
The UIAA also commits to the International Year its experience over many years of mountains and related
developmental, environmental, medical, safety and training issues.
Collectively the members of the UIAA seek the collaboration and assistance of Governments, Agencies, tourism
organisations and voluntary bodies, to promote the freedom of responsible access for mountaineering, climbing and
trekking, linked with:
• Protection for the wild and natural characteristics of mountain terrain and cliffs, recognising their
environmental value and fragility.
• The personal responsibility of the individual, supported by codes of good practice, and by programmes that
encourage environmental awareness, excellence, safety and youth development.
• The growth of sustainable mountain tourism, with any charges for services and facilities to be reasonable
• Economic benefits principally for local communities, with encouragement also for mutual cooperation on, for
example, training and sustainable facilities.
• No liability on landholders for accidents or damages arising from natural hazards on their land and
consideration to be given, as appropriate, to adjusting public policies on access to land, nature conservation,
taxation, tax relief and subsidy, relevant to mountains, where this would be equitable and beneficial to
The UIAA seeks to take these proposals forward through positive collaboration.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 38
Recommended Code of Practice for High Altitude Guided Commercial Expeditions
1. The leader or chief guide and as many as possible of the guides should have high altitude experience
appropriate to the altitude of the peak to be climbed. There is no qualification appropriate to high altitude
guiding, so the term "guide" does not imply that the person holds a professional qualification. Clients can
only judge from the previous experience of the guides, who may be westerners or Sherpas or other local
2. The guiding and portering staff on the mountain and the material supplied must be adequate for the aims
of the party and stated level of service offered .
3. An experienced doctor in the party is very desirable but at the very least advance arrangements must be
made for medical help. Advance arrangements must also be made for evacuation assistance in case of
4. The minimum safety equipment available must be walkie-talkie radios and recommended medical
5. Advertising must give a true picture of all the difficulties and dangers involved, and avoid promising the
impossible. Biographical information about the guiding team should be included.
6. The client must truthfully reveal his experience, medical history etc to the organiser so that the organiser
can make an informed choice about the potential client.
7. Information supplied in advance should include a clear statement of the guiding, porterage and equipment
which will be supplied by the organiser, together with details of the clothing and equipment to be supplied
by the client.
Operators and clients must take account of the UIAA Environmental Objectives and Guidelines and follow the
UIAAExpeditions Code of Ethics.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 39
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 40
Riccardo Beltramo, Stefano Duglio, Elena Pandolfi
GUIDELINES FOR ECO-COMPATIBLE EXPEDITIONS
FOR MOUNTAINEERS AND FOR LOCAL PERSONNEL
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 41
ENVIRONMENTAL MEMORANDUM FOR MOUNTAINEERS
Mountaineers are asked to not leave any objects in the environment and in particular, to not leave
waste, whatever type of waste it is. Any action aimed at preventing pollution avoids having to later
treat pollution, and contributes to the result of environmental management.
At the Base Camp there is an area set aside for separated waste collection with several
containers, divided as follows:
SOLID WASTE DANGEROUS WASTE
Glass. Accumulator cells.
Aluminium and tin. Gas cylinders.
Mountaineers are asked to place waste in the bins according to the type of waste, following
indications on each container.
As for packaging in plastic, tin, paper and cardboard, it is always advisable to try to reduce its
volume to make storage easier.
Only paper and cardboard can be burned in a micro-incinerator for waste.
At the high camps, mountaineers are asked to gather waste and take it back to the Base Camp,
where it will be divided up.
It is good practice to limit the use of water to that strictly necessary.
For personal hygiene and dishwashing, biodegradable products have been chosen so as to
minimise the impact on both the water and the ground.
Mountaineers are asked to use the products given to them by the organisers.
Mountaineers are asked to use the toilet tents provided by the organisers.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 42
ENVIRONMENTAL MEMORANDUM FOR LOCAL PERSONNEL
The …………… Expedition has adopted a code of environmental rules so as create the least
possible impact on the area.
Local personnel are asked to abide by the following rules of the aforementioned code, and in
1. It is forbidden to leave any type of waste (solid or liquid) on the round or in water courses.
2. All waste must be collected and treated according to instructions given by the Expedition
3. At the Base Camp there is an area set aside for waste collection, with containers divided
according to the type of waste.
4. Please ask for explanations should you have any doubts regarding the correct
management of a type of waste.
5. Please compress plastic and aluminium.
6. Please keep the spaces near the communal tents clean (especially the canteen and
7. Please collect any material or waste when the Base Camp is being dismantled.
1. Personnel are asked to use the toilet tents that have been provided.
2. Please use the soap provided by the organisers.
1. Please only use water when strictly necessary.
Dipartimento di Scienze Merceologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Torino 43