The King Albert I Memorial Foundation goes back to Walter Amstutz, former director of the tourist board of St. Moritz and long-time climbing companion of King Albert I. It was established in 1993 as a foundation under Swiss law. The aim of the foundation is to grant the Albert Mountain Award to persons or institutions who have rendered exceptional, sustainable services in connection with the mountains of the world.

As of 2014, 50 persons and institutions have been granted the Albert Mountain Award. Among them are, for example, outstanding mountaineers and rock ­climbers, geographers and geologists, photographers and ­writers, publishers of alpine literature, doctors specialising in high-altitude medicine, or persons and institutions who have dedicated themselves to the protection of mountains. They have all made an important contribution towards preserving the mountains as a majestic, beautiful and safe place – as a living environment for mountain people, a leisure environment for mountaineers and as a heritage of our world.

Freedom, ethical and responsible conduct and respect for the alpine environment are the criteria that determine the granting of a Albert Mountain Award – and will continue to do so in future.