A proposed law is geared towards making walking and climbing in the Cyprus mountains safer with the Cyprus Mountaineering and Climbing Federation proposing that organised groups have to be accompanied by a trained mountain guide.
“This doesn’t mean that each group of people who want to go for a walk has to have a guide,” President of the federation Pavlos Georgiades explained, “it is meant for big organised groups such as tourists and clubs who are currently being led by individuals who are not qualified but getting paid for what they do.”
Such groups who go mountaineering and especially climbing should be better protected, he said.
“Where in the world can anybody who is a tourist guide walking around in cities take a group of people to walk in the mountains? We want them to come to us and be trained as climbing instructors,” Georgiades added.
Currently none of these people know what to do in an emergency or carry the right equipment. “What do they do if someone falls three or four metres?” he asked. “They wouldn’t have a rope or know how to use it to pull them up. Already a Cypriot was killed in the Alps this year, we don’t want this to happen in Cyprus.”
He was referring to a 30-year-old woman who was killed in the French Alps while mountain-climbing in July after her safety rope broke and she fell off a 400-metre cliff.
The bill has been submitted and will be discussed in Parliament later this year.