Due to the international pandemic situation and for the first time in its history, the International Ski Mountaineering Association ISMF held its 2020 Plenary Assembly in digital form. 35 of the 37 member federations from three continents participated and approved all proposals by a large majority of the votes.
The 2020 Plenary Assembly was mainly characterized by the serious challenges stemming from the global pandemic affecting the entire sports world. Thus, the season and accounting year 2019/20 have been very demanding and full of surprises. The primary highlight was the successful presence of ski mountaineering at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne which excited a broader audience for the ski mountaineering sport. On the other hand, the Covid pandemic affected the course of business severely. Two of the five World Cup events had to be cancelled which led to significantly lower income from fees and marketing. These streams constitute one of ISMF’s main revenue sources. Cost savings could not compensate for the serious and mostly unexpected losses. Thus, the business year of 2019/20 concluded with a significant loss.
The effects of the pandemic created a completely new situation overriding “courant normal” to a large extent. Therefore, a short-term substantial increase of the membership & license fees has become inevitable. The financial stabilization will continue to be a high priority of the near future, in particular for the season 2020/21 starting with the Adamello ISMF World Cup event on 19 & 20 December 2020. Additionally, it will be a major task of the ISMF Council to guarantee a race season as regular as possible by following the international pandemic developments closely and developing related scenarios.
Founded in 2007, the International Ski Mountaineering Federation ISMF is the global governing body for ski mountaineering competitions. Since 2016, the organization is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee IOC. Its main goals are the promotion, regulation and development of the ski mountaineering sport worldwide. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the ISMF’s membership consists of 37 national mountaineering or ski sports federations in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The ISMF organizes ski mountaineering World Cups events and World Championships. For the first time, ski mountaineering has been a medal sport at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne Switzerland. The ISMF’s ambition is to become an Olympic sport by the 2026 Winter Games in Milano-Cortina, Italy.