Helmets will be required to meet two standards for ISMF World Cup and World Championships ©ISMF

Helmets will be required to comply with two different safety standards for the forthcoming ski mountaineering season, the sport's governing body has confirmed.

The International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) said that the requirement is due to the sport requiring athletes to be protected during both ascents and descents.

Traditionally, helmets for mountaineering were classified as "EN 12492", meaning they were designed to help protect athletes against falling objects.

The helmets would act as a shield for the third superior of the head, whereas the typical helmet for Alpine skiing and snowboard, classified as "EN 1077", focuses on the two third inferior.

Athletes wearing the ski and snowboard helmets are more protected against potential shocks and penetrations.

Helmets for ski mountaineering will now be required to meet both certifications, with the ISMF making it compulsory for their World Cup and World Championships. 

"We decided to adopt this important upgrade in order to fulfil the highest standard of safety," said Roberto Cavallo, the ISMF's general secretary.

The helmets will be compulsory for ISMF events as the governing body seek to improve safety ©ISMF
The helmets will be compulsory for ISMF events as the governing body seek to improve safety ©ISMF

The ISMF said that research and development of new helmets has been ongoing for the past three years, with their manufacturer pool working on the project.

This is being managed by Denis Pivot and Alex Pellicier who are working alongside the ISMF Technical Commission, which is led by Gil Orriols.

"Ski mountaineering is a complete sport: it puts together a mix of climbing and hiking skills on great terrain and speed on slopes and unmarked path," said Lluis Lopez, the ISMF's vice-president of sport and events.

"That is why we need the most complete equipment and the best outfit."

The double classification helmets are not the only mandatory addition for the 2017 season, with athletes required to wear an innovative transceiver during competitions in a close zipped pocket.

The three antennas based tracking system is an avalanche victim searching device, which allows for more precise and effective results in case of avalanches.

Brands, suppliers and manufacturers are cooperating to keep the weight of the device and the price as low as possible, the governing body has claimed.

The first ISMF World Cup event of the 2017 season is due to take place in Font Blanca in Andorra on January 21 and 22.