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Tyrol Declaration

The Tyrol Declaration was adopted by the Future of Mountain Sports Conference, Innsbruck, September 6-8, 2002.

     All over the world, millions of people practice mountaineering, hiking, trekking, and rock climbing. In many countries mountain sports have become a significant factor of everyday life.

     Hardly any other activity encompasses such a broad motivational spectrum as does mountain sports. It gives people the opportunity to realize personal goals and pursue meaningful lifelong activity. Motives for being active in the mountains and on the rocks range from health benefits, pleasure of movement, contact with nature and social incentives, to the thrill of exploration and adventure.

     The Tyrol Declaration on Best Practice in Mountain Sports, passed by the conference on the Future of Mountain Sports in Innsbruck on September 8, 2002, contains a set of values and maxims to provide guidance on best practice in mountain sports. These are not rules or detailed instructions, rather they:

  1. Define today’s fundamental values in mountain sports
  2. Contain principles and standards of conduct
  3. Formulate the ethical criteria for decision-making in uncertain situations
  4. Present the ethical principles by which the public can judge mountain sports
  5. Introduce beginners to the values and moral principles of their sport

     It is the aim of the Tyrol Declaration to help realize the innate potential of mountain sports for recreation and personal growth as well as for promoting social development, cultural understanding and environmental awareness. To this end, the Tyrol Declaration picks up on the traditional unwritten values and codes of conduct inherent in the sport and expands on them to meet the demands of our times. The fundamental values on which the Tyrol Declaration is based hold true for all individuals engaged in mountain sports worldwide—whether they be hikers and trekkers, sport climbers, or mountaineers seeking to push their limits at high altitudes. Even if some of the guidelines for conduct are of relevance for only a small elite, a lot of the proposals formulated in the Tyrol Declaration are addressed to the mountain sports community as a whole. With these suggestions we especially hope to reach our youth, for they are the future of mountain sports.

     Please download the full Tyrol Declaration (.PDF) tyrol_declaration.pdf, as adopted in 2002 and also printed in the American Alpine Journal in 2003.