UIMLA: Dolomitix is international

07 Nov 2019, Posted by Claudio Vecellio in Profession

We are proud to belong to UIMLA , for the training and selective path we have undertaken. The speech that follow can give you an idea of what we are talking about, of course it’s the passion and the continuous contact with the mountain environment that daily enrich the figure of the Mountain Leader.


UIMLA training

The train must last a minimum of 40 days , of which a minimum period of 10 days must be dedicated to training on snow-covered terrain and 20 days of leadership experience; the train must also include, between the others, the following subjects:

  • security in mountainous terrain and ability to move on different types of mountainous terrain;
  • navigation and orientation (use of topographic maps, compass, GPS, …);
  • first aid in mountain environments, but above all the prevention of injuries (fatigue, dehydration, altitude, cold, …);
  • being able to organize an improvised bivouac;
  • group leadership;
  • knowledge about the mountain environment (culture, flora, fauna, geology, geography, …)

Above all, IMLs must be able to transmit their knowledge to the people they accompany.
PS: the list is not exhaustive, for example to be international you also need to know a foreign language. You can read the Standard for access to and practise of the profession of the International Mountain Leader , April 6th 2013 version, from the following link .

UIMLA nations

Some nations are full members countries, other nations have started the administrative process so that their members can have training that reflects the quality of UIMLA training (aspirant member countries).


There are many European countries that guarantee training according to the UIMLA standard, they are shown in the following figure, but for mountaineers the administrative divisions are a bureaucratic bore, it’s better to know which are the mountains on which one can have fun! In addition to the mountains that are in a single state, such as the Apennines, Snowdonia or the Picos de Europa, the shared mountain ranges are:

  • Alps
  • Pyrenees
  • Balkan Mountains
  • Dinaric Alps
  • Carpathian Mountains
2023 - UIMLA in Europe
2023 – UIMLA in Europe

Other continents

The nations currently forming Mountain Leader according to UIMLA guidelines are in South America and the Far East. The most famous mountain ranges and reliefs on which to have fun, are:

  • Andes, in particular the Patagonia (Argentina, Chile, Peru);
  • Pacific Ocean islands, as Rapa Nui (Easter island);
  • The Japanese Alps and many volcanoes, in primis the iconic Mount Fuji.

There are also other countries interested in joining UIMLA, it’s interesting to note that UIMLA attracts global interest, in fact these countries are from North Europe, Central Asia (Nepal), South America and North America (USA).

2023 - UIMLA in the World
2023 – UIMLA in the World

UIMLA history

UIMLA it is a recent “umbrella” organization, in fact it was founded in 1989 by professional mountain organisations of some European nations, then in 2004 it was extended to the rest of the planet.
Here are some more details.

In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, but many other customs “walls” of the then European Economic Community began to fall, the so-called free movement; following the Treaty of Rome the representatives of the professionals of the mountains of Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland and Italy began to harmonize the minimum standards of training for the profession of Mountain Leader, an international title for the professional qualification known in Italy as Accompagnatori di media Montagna under Law 6/1989.

In In 1992 the “common platform” was ratified, there is always talk of standards at the level of the European Community, therefore the acronym of the association was EMLC (European Mountain Leader Commission).

Since the mountains on which to have fun are not only in Europe, in 2004 it was decided to open the organization to non-EU professionals and to make the possibility of working more international, thus the UIMLA: Union of International Mountain Leader was born. The establishment of the UIMLA was sanctioned in Chambéry in France.

In 2009, and then subsequently modified in 2012, UIMLA issued the ” Standard for access to and practise of the profession of the International Mountain Leader“, they are the basis of the course that we Dolomitix have followed and of the updates that we continue to do to improve ourselves over time.


The mountain guides have a similar association: the IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations) was founded founded in 1965 by the associations of the mountain guides of the Alps (Austria, France, Switzerland and Italy); currently it groups mountain guide associations from over 20 countries on 4 continents, for a total of almost 6000 guides.
The purpose of the two associations is the same, in fact the IFMGA guarantees training and training standards for mountain guides.
The two associations IFMGA and UIMLA are the only umbrella associations recognized all over the world in the field of certification of mountain guides and mountain leaders.

Mountain professionals

Do you want a safety and professional guidance in the mountains? Contact a qualified mountain professional, to dissipate any doubts, always ask your guide to show their professional licence!
The Veneto’s Association of Mountain Guides has created a special poster, is exposed in many mountain huts, you can also read it from this link.