The 2014 ISMF Forum was held in Lausanne from 3-5 October. Three full days of work under the auspices of the International Ski Mountaineering Federations

«This year’s Forum, – says Rebecca Vernon, the ISMF Vice President, – involved more than 40 participants from many different countries around the world including Russia, Canada, Austria, Andorra, Switzerland, France, Italy, Great Britain, Spain and Greece, all with a shared passion for ski mountaineering. The Forum unites those players essential for the creation of a successful international sporting season such as race organisers, referees and technical advisors, marketing and communications experts, outside providers and members of the ISMF».

Some of the key themes covered in presentations and discussions were the ISMF sporting and organisational rules and regulations, time-keeping, effective marketing and anti-doping. All with the objective of improving the format of races and their media appeal, and increasingly involving not only those with a passion for the sport, but also the general public and the international media.

An essential element of the Forum was the session held by Françoise Dagouret, Director of the Doping Free Sport department of SportAccord, who gave a detailed presentation of the way in which the ISMF and SportAccord are working together on anti-doping, explaining the importance of the programme, the new development of biological passports, out of race testing as well as the logistics and management of anti-doping tests during the racing season.

Representatives from La Grande Courses, forming the ISMF Long Distance Team World Cup, and of course members from the Verbier organising committee of the ISMF World Championship (5-12 February 2015 ), the Austrian organisers of the International Youth Training Camp, as well as ISMF Series race organisations from Austria, North America, France and Russia were also present. All the organising committees were able to discuss and exchange information and ideas with each other, as well as work with the dedicated ISMF Technical Teams who will be present at the races.

«The Forum, – said Armando Mariotta, ISMF President – is an annual event, and a very important occasion, providing the opportunity to exchange views with all the event organisers for the coming season and to inform them about the ISMF’s new projects. This year in particular the idea to propose a common time-keeping system and media projects to increase the visibility of the events were most appreciated».

Arkadi Klepinin the ISMF Vice President/Marketing said: «The next two winters, and especially the 2014/15 season, are very important to all of us. After receiving provisional IOC recognition we have a lot of work to do in order to improve our image and our visibility within the sporting world so as to fully integrate ski-mountaineering into the Olympic family. Many new concepts were introduced to the organisers and referees during the Forum including some new and updated marketing services. We are working on the TV media programme, and we have decided to unite the ISMF web-sites, to improve the way our web-sites work, to be able to offer a wider range of services to federations, organisers and athletes. We have restructured ISMF visibility in terms of global events thanks to the R&C media project, we are bringing the ISMF Series to a more coherent level of continental race circuits with their own visibility. The end result of these combined efforts we hope will place ski mountaineering on a more accessible level both for those those involved with our beautiful sport, as well as the media and the general public. The ISMF still has a lot of work to do, which with our member federations, organisers, technical teams and athletes all working together we hope will bring us to the recognition this sport greatly deserves».