June 20th, 2024 | 9:44


Celebration of the centenary of the Basque Mountain Federation in Elgeta

Jesus Carames

May 18, 2024 | 1:32 p.m.

The Euskal Mendizale Federazioa – Basque Mountain Federation (EMF-FVM) and the Navarra Federation of Mountain Sports and Climbing (MEKNF-FNDME) will celebrate next Saturday, May 18, the main event of their centenary in the square of the Gipuzkoa town of Elgeta, place where the entity was founded 100 years ago.

“Elgeta” event and institutional representation

The event, called "Elgeta", will have a large institutional representation. Among those attending are Zigor Egia, president of EMF-FVM; Martín Montañés, president of the Navarra Federation of Mountain Sports and Climbing (FNDME); Gorka Iturriaga, Director of Physical Activity and Sports of the Basque Government; Jose María Aierdi, Minister of Rural Development and Environment of the Government of Navarra; and Ibon Unzetabarrenetxea, mayor of Elgeta. In addition, as a representative of mountaineering in Iparralde, Rafael Valdivielso, founding member of the Auñamendi Mountain Association of Baiona, will attend.

Tribute to former presidents and symbolism

After the intervention of the institutional representatives, a tribute will be held to the former presidents of both federations. Cari Vélez, president of the Navarra Mountain Federation between 1992 and 1996, will hand over the 'makila' of command to Karmele Biurrun, vice president of the FNDME. This symbolic act aims to highlight the role of women in federations and call for the assumption of responsibilities in clubs, promoting equality.

Presentation of the EHMEBI – UVADEMO association

After 11:30 a.m., the event will host the presentation of the association Euskal Herriko Mendi Biltzarra (EHMEBI) – Vasconavarra Union of Mountain Sports (UVADEMO). This permanent joint work body between EMF-FVM and FNDME seeks to recover the unity of programs and activities that both federations have historically shared.

Exhibition “Gailurretan izan gaitun/We love each other at the summits”

The Espaloia Kafe Antzokia in Elgeta will host the traveling exhibition “Gailurretan izan gaitun/We love each other at the summits”. This exhibition, which can be visited from May 13 to May 31, commemorates the centenary of the federation and celebrates the rich history of mountaineering in the region.

History of the Basque Mountain Federation

The Basque Mountain Federation – Euskal Mendizale Federazioa was founded in Elgeta (Gipuzkoa) on May 18, 1924. Promoted by the Mountain Societies of Araba, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Nafarroa, the federation was originally called the Basque-Navarra Mountaineering Federation. That first day, nearly sixty clubs, which brought together 2.635 new mountaineers, joined the group chaired by Antxon Bandrés.

That same year, on March 16, 1924, Ángel Sopeña completed the first climb in Euskadi, reaching the summit of Pico del Fraile. This milestone marked the beginning of a rich mountaineering tradition in the region, which has grown and evolved over the years.

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