International climbing event for IFMGA mountain guides in St.Gallen

The International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA) was founded in 1965 by mountain guide associations from Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland and today counts about 6000 mountain guides from 21 countries among its members. The main objective of the association is to ensure the quality of mountain guides and their training. The member associations pay a membership fee proportional to the number of their mountain guides. The associations commit themselves to train and educate their mountain guides according to the IFMGA standards.


IVBV Climbing Meeting and Ski Touring Competition

Under the patronage of the IFMGA, a climbing meeting and a ski touring competition are held every year. Last week, from Thursday to Friday (25./26.11.2021), the international climbing event of the IVBV mountain guides took place in the climbing gym in St.Gallen. Last year, the climbing meeting had to be cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. It was all the more pleasing that 47 participants from three countries met in the climbing gym in St.Gallen. Mountain guides and their relatives are admitted as participants.



Age categories and difficulty levels

Climbing took place in seven age categories from 20- to 80-year old on 16 routes in difficulty grades from 4c to 7c+. The youngest participant was 23-year-old Yannick Glatthard from Meiringen (Canton Bern) and 86-year-old Swiss mountain guide Ernst Neeracher from Grabs (Canton St.Gallen). An age difference of considerable 63 years. All routes were climbed on lead, with more or fewer points to be won depending on the height and difficulty reached. Four participants - Tobias Suter (Switzerland), Federica Mingolla (Italy), Yannick Glatthard (Switzerland), Martin Schidlowski (Germany) - reached the highest point in all 16 routes and were awarded 385 points.



Final with difficulty 8b+

The final with a route of difficulty 8b+ was reached by 12 climbers. Here it was not only a matter of reaching the top, the time needed also played a role. For the final qualified in ascending order:

Giovanna Mongilardi     UVGA Val Aosta               Italy

Jörg Helfrich                     VDBS                                  Germany

Marco Sappa                    UVGA Val Aosta               Italy

Hansueli Baumann         IKBV                                    Switzerland

Norbert Weiss                 South                                 Tyrol Italy

Janis Hager                       IKBV                                    Switzerland

Christian Tschudi            IKBV                                    Switzerland

Roman von Schulthess IKBV                                    Switzerland

Martin Schidlowski         VDBS                                  Germany

Yannick Glatthard           BBV                                     Switzerland

Federica Mingolla           UVGA Val Aosta               Italy

Tobias Suter                     BJB                                      Switzerland


The German mountain guide Martin Schidlowski wins the Climbing Event

The German mountain guide Martin Schidlowski emerged as the winner with a 15-second lead over the second Bernese Oberland mountain guide Yannick Glatthard. Third place was taken by Tobias Suter, a mountain guide from the Bernese Jura.

The 27-year-old Italian Federica Mingolla from the Aosta Valley wins the women's competition

The 27-year-old Italian from the Aosta Valley, Federica Mingolla, won the women's competition with a clear lead over her compatriot Giovanna Mongilardi. The 53-year-old president of the Swiss Mountain Guides Association (SBV), Rita Christen, came in a respectable third place.


The 86-year-old Swiss mountain guide Ernst Neeracher from Grabs
The 84-year-old Othmar Wenk from Samedan and Gusti Imfeld from Engelberg

In an impressive way, the seniors showed that it is possible to practice mountain sports even at an advanced age. All three confirmed that they have been taking part in the IVBV climbing competitions for years and that they train several times a week in a climbing gym. As an incentive to participate in the competition, they mentioned the meeting with colleagues as well as the sporting challenge.


The IFMGA climbing event was made possible by the following sponsors:

Mammut Bergsport

Catering Pfefferbeere

SAC St.Gallen

Getränke Bruno Diem Urnäsch

GOBA Getränke

Brauerei Schützengarten

Möhl Getränke

SBV Arbeitssicherheit

Kletterhalle St.Gallen

SAGS Werbeagentur

Alpschaukäserei Schwägalp



The Intercantonal Mountain Guides Association (IKBV) organized the climbing event in St.Gallen under the patronage of the IFMGA. On behalf of the IFMGA, we would like to thank the sponsors for their support.