CAA General assembly 2015 in Brixen/Bressanone

On September 12 the delegates of the CAA’s member associations – presidents and directors - met for the General assembly 2015 in Brixen/Bressanone, following the invitation of the Alpine Club of South Tyrol.

In the series of recommendations regarding the alpine disciplines the delegates approved 10 recommendations for safety on ski tours which the commission for mountaineering had prepared before, as well as the final version of the recommendations for alpine tours.

Regarding the online reservation system, for which the CAA made a start-up financing, the current state of the project was reported. According to the report the system, in the beginning developed under the aegis of the SAC which is already using it successfully, will be at the disposal for the huts of DAV, ÖAV and AVS in Summer 2016. It will simplify the administration of the sleeping places for hut keepers.

The CAA-project “Energy efficiency on mountain huts” is now completely finished. Its results will help sections and technical experts responsible for huts to evaluate with a matrix to which degree single constructions or restoration measures really are energy-efficient.

Furthermore the issues Alpine Convention and Macro-regional strategy for the Alps (EUSALP) were discussed with which the CAA as alpine-wide umbrella organisation and official observer of the Alpine Convention deals intensively. In October 2016 the CAA will be one of the organizing partners of the Alpweek in Grassau/Chiemgau (Bavaria), a colourful festival related to alpine issues in connection with the Alpine conference of the ministers for the environment, which will conclude the German Presidency of the Alpine Convention.

On the day before the delegates had discussed already separately about the future tasks and main focuses of the CAA. Greater attention should be directed towards internal communication and the exchange of experience in the future. Structural changes were not considered necessary.

As usual, the reports and annual plannings of the board and the commissions as well as annual accounts and budget were approved. At last, Klaus-Jürgen Gran (DAV) was unanimously re-elected for a second term of office as CAA President.

Annual meetings of the Commissions for mountaineering, training and safety and huts and trails 2015

During its meeting in June 2015 on the Pass Pordoi, the CAA commission for mountaineering, training and safety has developed common recommendations for ski tours, which shall be approved by the CAA General Assembly in September. Furthermore, a draft for a position paper regarding belay devices was discussed, which the commission will deal with more intensively.

At the annual meeting of the commission for huts and trails on the Gafadura hut in Liechtenstein, the main focus was–besides the completion of the project “Energy efficiency on mountain huts”–the online reservation system for huts, for which the CAA provided a start-up financing. The first huts will test it in the next winter, from summer 2016 on it shall be used by all interested huts of DAV, ÖAV and AVS.

Annual meeting 2015 of the Commission for nature protection and alpine spacial planning

On its annual meeting, held on 24-26 April in Schaan /Liechtenstein the Commission focused on the issue of mountain biking and environment. The framework conditions in the alpine states are different regarding the legal situation, and the integration of mountain biking in the training standards of the alpine associations differ considerably. However, the in the meantime often high percentage of active bikers in the member structure is similar – often one third – and partly the problems with erosion and above all conflicts between hikers and bikers are similar as well. The Commission agreed that a common position paper doesn’t make sense due to the big differences, but that a collection of “best practice” examples with focus on environmental aspects will be developed.

Besides, the Commission discussed further alpine-wide policy papers: the Commission intends to work out a common position of the alpine associations regarding artificial snowmaking. Furthermore the Commission will propose again Jörg Ruckriegel (DAV), chairman for the last four years, for another four-year-period as chairman of the Commission. Like every year the meeting served also for important exchanges of experience and information about the current activities of the associations in the area of nature protection and for the information of the Commission members about the current main focuses of the CAA board.

The next meeting will be hosted by FFCAM in the French Alps in April 2016.

CAA General assembly 2014 in Paris

CAA General Assembly 2014 in Paris

Following an invitation of the French Alpine Association FFCAM the CAA General Assembly (GA) took place in Paris this year on September 13th.

In the series of recommendations regarding the alpine disciplines the delegates approved 10 recommendations for safety on alpine tours which the commission for mountaineering had prepared before. Furthermore the position paper regarding wind power plants of 2006 was updated and approved.

The GA resolved a new paper regarding the significance of landscape. It’s exactly the landscape which fascinates mountaineers and other guests, and which determinates the identity of the population, and which also comes increasingly under pressure.

With the start-up financing of an online reservation system for overnight stays on huts the CAA pursues a really practical project, which will make the reservations – also across borders – easier for the users and will facilitate the administration for hut keepers.

Not yet completely but almost finished is the CAA project “Energy efficiency on mountain huts,” the results of which will help hut keepers and sections to evaluate with a matrix to which degree energy-efficient single construction or restoration measures really are.

Furthermore the issues Alpine Convention and Macro-regional strategy for the Alps with were discussed which the CAA as alpine-wide umbrella organisation deals intensively. The member associations were asked again to participate in the public consultation for the EUALP (see below), directly or with the CAA if they want.

As usual the reports and annual plannings of the board and the commissions as well as annual accounts and budget were approved. At last, CAA President Gran said goodbye with warm words and with applause of the General Assembly to the longstanding CAA Vice President Danilo Skerbinek who, after two terms of office, couldn’t run for office anymore. Afterwards the General assembly elected Miro Erzen (PZS) for the board. Oskar Wörz (OeAV) will be the new Vice President and Franco Capraro (CAI) was elected for a second term of office, too.

General Assembly 2013 in Slovenia

On September 14th, the CAA held its General Assembly at the PZS Mountaineering Training Centre  in the Bavšica-Valley near Bovec in Slovenia. Apart from the usual agenda items like reports of the commissions, budget and annual plannings this time the target groups of CAA position papers and recommendations were also discussed. Furthermore,10 recommendations "Mountain Biking - safe and fair" were approved, which were developed under leadership of the mountaineering commission with participation of the other two commissions. The recommendations are directed to the single biker and can be used and published by the CAA-member associations. So these recommendations apply uniformly for the whole alpine region. The CAA  has already approved recommendations for via ferratas and hiking in 2011 and 2012; recommendations for alpine tours will be prepared.

On the political level the CAA will continue to observe and accompany actively the ongoing process of a development of a macroregional strategy for the Alps. For the end of March 2014 in Munich a panel discussion is planned with representatives of the different initiatives (i.a. Alpine Convention, Alpine Space Programme, EU-commission, Region of Bavaria) which will be part of the framework programme of the DAV-exhibition "The Alps under pressure".  

The 2013 CAA Commission Meetings

The Commission of Nature Protection met in Innsbruck at the start of May. The main topics discussed where the overview of environmental education in the associations with a joint introduction and comments on the Commission of Mountaineering’s draft “Mountain-biking recommendations”. “Alpine spatial planning” is to be prepared in a panel discussion on the subject of macro-regional alpine strategy within the scope of the DAV exhibition on the developmental pressure on the Alps at the end of March 2014. The Commission will also address the subject “Value of the landscape” in the next year.

The Commission of Huts and Trails addressed all issues associated with trails at its meeting in Chamonix in the middle of May: legal aspects and issues of liability, conflicts of use, financing of maintenance, working with tourist organisations, trail sponsorship, problems caused by glacial retreat, etc. Furthermore, the current status of the project on energy efficiency in huts, which is now entering its final phase, was discussed. The Commission proposed Georg Simeoni to the Executive Board for a second term of office as the Commission Chairman; he has since been elected. The next meeting of the Commission will be hosted by the OeAV in the middle of June 2014. In addition to an exchange of experiences, this should deal with leases, the protection of historical monuments and hut strategy/marketing.

In addition to an exchange of information on projects carried out by the individual associations, the main topics discussed by the Commission of Mountaineering in Villnöss/South Tyrol in the middle of June were mountain-biking recommendations and a request by the Commission to the CAA General Assembly relating to alpine tour recommendations and pictograms for hiking recommendations, which were adopted in 2012. The next meeting will be hosted by the DAV at the start of June 2014. Subjects covered should include safety recommendations for ski tours, emergency equipment and a general mission statement for education.