/ Is there a case to be made?

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nasher47 on 17 Dec 2012
I've just been looking at the Sport England funding that has been announced today and I wonder; is there a case to be made for Climbing (for these purposes to include indoor and outdoor, trad, sport and bouldering) to be made distinct (in terms of bidding for funding etc) from Mountaineering?

I think yes but am curious to see if there are others out there who agree/disagree and what steps you might take to achieve this...
Monk - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
I don't think so. They are all part of the same family and fall under the same representative bodies. Why do you think they should be split?
Misha - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
Do you think that would assist with funding applications - if so, what sort of projects were you thinking of? Just interested, having looked at it recently in the context of a mountaineering/climbing hut refurb.
mikekeswick - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47: Don't do it!!!!! Climbers don't need to jump through hoops just to get some funding....
Si dH - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to mikekeswick:
I think its fair to say youve completely misunderstood the point.

In reply to the OP: I think it is best combined so that the money goes to the BMC and they can decide how best to allocate it. If you do 'climbing' and 'mountaineering' separately, then you will have to define for Sport England what money donated to either is going to be spent on, and they will then determine which of the two gets how much / more money. The end result would be the BMC losing some control over what it funds.
nasher47 on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:

Any NGB, in our case the BMC, has to present long term plan to Sport England for funding, this must include the specific areas where money is going to be spent. We are no different in this respect from any other sport and must jump through said hoops to secure funding for whatever it is that you love about "Mountaineering".

I find that my love for bouldering is as different from Hill Walking and winter climbing as Rugby Union is from Rugby League... similar skills etc but very different in so many ways. I personally struggle to justify bouldering or sport climbing being classed as mountaineering and the indoor versions even more so.

I ask the question because I feel more could be achieved by devoting separate resources to different sports.
Robert Durran - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
> Is there a case to be made for Climbing (for these purposes to include indoor and outdoor, trad, sport and bouldering) to be made distinct (in terms of bidding for funding etc) from Mountaineering?

Of those six, why pick out mountaineering?
GrahamD - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Of those six, why pick out mountaineering?

Indeed, the most obvious 'different' one on the list is indoor climbing as its run on a business basis whereas all the others are free to participate in but rely on negotiated access.

Mike Stretford - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: Rock climbing is obviously distinct from mountaineering, but no I wouldn't seperate them for the purpose of bidding.
Mike Stretford - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> [...]
>
> Indeed, the most obvious 'different' one on the list is indoor climbing as its run on a business basis whereas all the others are free to participate in but rely on negotiated access.

Wrong on 2 counts.
GrahamD - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Papillon

> ...Rock climbing is obviously distinct from mountaineering,

Why ? to me Mountaineering somewhere like the Dolomites IS rock climbing
GrahamD - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Papillon:

> Wrong on 2 counts.

Explain
Robert Durran - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) Rock climbing is obviously distinct from mountaineering.

No, not at all obviously. I could make just as strong a case for any one of the six to be treated separately.
Bulls Crack - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

Not sure why 2 counts but outdoor climbing does not 'rely' on negotiated access.
Monk - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:

I wonder if it is a reference to competitions - the British teams climb indoors and require funding from somewhere rather than being a commercial operation.
Mike Stretford - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> [...]
>
> Explain

Indoor climbing isn't necessarily a buisness and access to the mountains isn't always free.
Mike Stretford - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> In reply to Papillon
>
> [...]
>
> Why ? to me Mountaineering somewhere like the Dolomites IS rock climbing

To you, sure, and there is certainly overlap...... but: Rock climbing does not have to involve mountaineering, and mountaineering does not have to involve rock climbing.
GrahamD - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Papillon:

> Indoor climbing isn't necessarily a buisness

Where isn't it a business ? I've certainly never been to that wall.

> and access to the mountains isn't always free.

Apart from High Rocks where else in this country isn't it free (either because its on open land or because access is negotiated)?

Mike Stretford - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> [...]
>
> Where isn't it a business ? I've certainly never been to that wall.
>

Loads of people have walls at home or some other property that isn't a buisness. I've climbed on mates walls.

>
> Apart from High Rocks where else in this country isn't it free (either because its on open land or because access is negotiated)?

I would't call High Rocks mountaineering. I would call the Himalayan peaks mountaineering and as far as I'm aware you need to pay for permits for access.

Robert Durran - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
>
> To you, sure, and there is certainly overlap...... but: Rock climbing does not have to involve mountaineering, and mountaineering does not have to involve rock climbing.

Try relacing "Rock Climbing" and "Mountaineering" with any other of the 14 possible pairs from the OP's 6 activities.

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Parrys_apprentice - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
>
> I find that my love for bouldering is as different from Hill Walking and winter climbing as Rugby Union is from Rugby League...

x100
Ramblin dave - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
> [...]
>
> Loads of people have walls at home or some other property that isn't a buisness. I've climbed on mates walls.

But you'll be doing well to get Sports England funding to put up a woody in your garage...
nasher47 on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:

I should point out that I raise the point because on the Sport England site Mountaineering is the generic title used to encompass all of the different strains of our sport while Rugby Union is listed as separate to rugby league and even orienteering is listed as a sport on it's own.

I just wonder if we aren't selling ourselves short by bundling it all up together.

If we were to take Indoor Rock Climbing for instance then programs such as NICAS and Competition Programs (including having a round of the IFSC world cup here again) could be treated as items of merit in and of themselves. Whilst Mountaineers (please excuse my ignorance of mountaneering, I have no idea what mountaineers would want) could be pushing for better facilities in and around the mountains.
Mike Stretford - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
> (In reply to nasher47)
> Whilst Mountaineers (please excuse my ignorance of mountaneering, I have no idea what mountaineers would want) could be pushing for better facilities in and around the mountains.

They've got a train going up Snowdon... what more do they want!
nasher47 on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Papillon:

Probably for someone to take the train away to get rid of the tourists??
GrahamD - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:

We are all tourists
GrahamD - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Papillon:

> Loads of people have walls at home or some other property that isn't a buisness. I've climbed on mates walls.

I would say they were pretty much in the minority. Most people who use walls use commercial walls and are subject to their rules and regulations.


> I would't call High Rocks mountaineering. I would call the Himalayan peaks mountaineering and as far as I'm aware you need to pay for permits for access.

I wouldn't call High Rocks mountaineering either but its the only place I can think of in the UK where you have to pay for access outside.

Climbing permits abroad is, likewise, restricted to a tiny number of mountains
Dave Turnbull, BMC - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47: Sport England only formally acknowledge one 'National Governing Body' (their terminolgy) per sport. We describe ourselves as representing 'climbing, hill walking and mountaineering' when in discussion with Sport England although it often ends up being shortened to 'mountaineering'.

Dave
steve taylor - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Turnbull, BMC:

You beat me to it Dave.

Well done though.
nasher47 on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Turnbull, BMC:

And in doing so you come to the very nub of it... should the BMC be looking to split itself up in order to better represent the growing diversity in our sports?
Oceanrower - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
>
> [...]
>
> I wouldn't call High Rocks mountaineering either but its the only place I can think of in the UK where you have to pay for access outside.
>
Bowles.
GrahamD - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:

> And in doing so you come to the very nub of it... should the BMC be looking to split itself up in order to better represent the growing diversity in our sports?

How can a representative body "represent the growing diversity in our sports" if it splits into more specialised silos ? Surely very few people are so specialised in one discipline that they have no interest across a broad range of climbing related activities ?


Robert Durran - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to nasher47)
> How can a representative body "represent the growing diversity in our sports" if it splits into more specialised silos ? Surely very few people are so specialised in one discipline that they have no interest across a broad range of climbing related activities ?

I suspect the OP just happens to do all the disciplines he mentions apart from mountaineering and hence his biased sugestion.

nasher47 on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

I made it quite clear earlier on that I am in favour of the split and that I was simply interested in what other people thought, there's no need to try to make it a personal attack as I am not running a campaign or anything like that, this is a purely academic discussion. If anything, in starting this tread I am doing something to try to better understand how our sports are related.

I don't tend to climb trad and I am often reluctant to get on sport as I'm not overly fond of heights. Mountaineering (summer or winter) is not something that has a great appeal to me at the moment though that is not to say that one day it won't.

I base my point simply on the fact that if the NGB were to be split into separate entities, one for "Climbing" and one for " Mountaineering" it may be possible to better represent the people in each of those groups (though undoubtedly this may negatively affect those who do part-take in all of the activities) and also may provide the opportunity to lobby for more funding for specific projects.

With the growth of climbing (especially indoor) it may be a case of the BMC needing a major restructure, just as UKC launched UKH to better provide for a niche the BMC should perhaps looks at being internally split at least to provide for the diversity. Currently we have 1 Climbing Wall and Competitions officer - surely this is not enough??
Monk - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

>
> I don't tend to climb trad and I am often reluctant to get on sport as I'm not overly fond of heights. Mountaineering (summer or winter) is not something that has a great appeal to me at the moment though that is not to say that one day it won't.

I suspect that puts you in the minority.

> I base my point simply on the fact that if the NGB were to be split into separate entities, one for "Climbing" and one for " Mountaineering" it may be possible to better represent the people in each of those groups (though undoubtedly this may negatively affect those who do part-take in all of the activities) and also may provide the opportunity to lobby for more funding for specific projects.

How do you think that walkers, climbers and mountaineers could be better represented than they are at the moment? Do you think that there are specific areas that need more attention?
>
> With the growth of climbing (especially indoor) it may be a case of the BMC needing a major restructure, just as UKC launched UKH to better provide for a niche the BMC should perhaps looks at being internally split at least to provide for the diversity. Currently we have 1 Climbing Wall and Competitions officer - surely this is not enough??

And how many Trad climbing officers and mountaineering officers do you think there are?

My feeling is that if these activities were split (which I guess would be possible - see for example the differences between the Climbers Club and the Alpine Club, but where would ice climbing and Scottish winter go?), what would you expect to gain? I would guess that the 3million we got would simply be divided in two as there is only so much money available. You would basically end up with the same amount of cash but with double the cost of administration.

Bulls Crack - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
> (In reply to Dave Turnbull, BMC)
>
> And in doing so you come to the very nub of it... should the BMC be looking to split itself up in order to better represent the growing diversity in our sports?

I don't think it is that diverse really - it's all a form of contra-gravitational sport at the end of the day! Seriously though I think its a close enough family to be ore than adequately represented by one body, splitting into smaller offshoots could well be a bad move politically and practically.
Robert Durran - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> I don't tend to climb trad and I am often reluctant to get on sport as I'm not overly fond of heights. Mountaineering (summer or winter) is not something that has a great appeal to me.

So you are a boulderer then! I rest my case....
Robert Durran - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> I made it quite clear earlier on that I am in favour of the split and that I was simply interested in what other people thought, there's no need to try to make it a personal attack.

Your OP, for some unexplained reason, singled out mountaineering to be split off. That is what I meant by bias. That was not a personal attack. Calling you a boulderer, however, was.
Mike Stretford - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47: Although I'd agree that the link between an inside boulderer and a winter mountianeer is tenuous, the former does benefit from the association with the latter.... it's something the public can identify with and it's a hook. Many on these forums will be familiar with the Everest questions, after mentioning to someone at a party you'd spent the day climbing in the Peaks.
GrahamD - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:

> I base my point simply on the fact that if the NGB were to be split into separate entities, one for "Climbing" and one for " Mountaineering" it may be possible to better represent the people in each of those groups (though undoubtedly this may negatively affect those who do part-take in all of the activities) and also may provide the opportunity to lobby for more funding for specific projects.

I think you will find that the overlap between 'climbing' and 'mountaineering' is at least as big as the overlap between 'indoor' and 'outdoor' or an other arbitary split.


> With the growth of climbing (especially indoor) it may be a case of the BMC needing a major restructure, just as UKC launched UKH to better provide for a niche the BMC should perhaps looks at being internally split at least to provide for the diversity.

So you are arguing that indoor should be represented differently to outdoor which has more merit IMO than a split based on mountaineering or climbing but still not necessary.
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nasher47 on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

My apologies, I didn't intend to split off mountaineering, this is the generic title used by sport england to describe all of the mountain/rock based sports at the moment. The aim of the OP was to remove a number of climbing based activities from this and leave the rest, i.e hill walking, summer mountaineering, winter mountaineering etc. If anything I would like to leave mountaineering alone and split off climbing. Sorry for the confusion.

Not sure I get the bouldering thing, I'm just happy for everyone to get on and enjoy whatever discipline(s) they like but wondered whether it would be possible to elevate the amount of funding available to each by separating the NGB.
nasher47 on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Monk:

It does put me in the minority, I'm sure of it but I hope I've not come across as someone who thinks everyone else is wrong, on the contrary I wish everyone well in their respective pursuits and only raise the issue as a means of discussing whether all might benefit.

I do think there are areas that need more attention: though I imagine that just as I feel bouldering competitions and our national coaching structure need rapid and meaningful intervention someone else may feel just as strongly that access to a particular mountain should be addressed... therefore I would question whether a single body can ably deal with such a large variance in need?

You're right, there is only so much money and the BMC have done very well to secure what they have, especially when you consider that sports like Basketball have lost their funding completely.

My hope really is that everyone feels they have an NGB that is really tuned into what they are doing, for me I feel that a large part of what the BMC does is not really relevant to where my focus lies and I know there are many many people who feel that the BMC devoting time to bouldering and competitions in particular is a massive waste of time and money.

It's all just hypothetical really and I can see from everyone's responses that the current mood does not require the change that I would like to see. Perhaps it will be something that comes about at some point in the future.
nasher47 on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Papillon:

My goodness I would be glad to be rid of the link, I find it terribly boring having to explain that rock climbing (especially bouldering) and mountaineering are very different and that I've never been up K2 or Everest!
nasher47 on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

Really I just find it frustrating that things like Rigby Union and Rugby League and different as they have separate NGBs and therefore receive more funding whilst we only receive 1 lot of funding for Bouldering, Sport, Trad, Hill Walking, Winter Climbing, Mountaineering etc etc...
Ciro - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
>
> Really I just find it frustrating that things like Rigby Union and Rugby League and different as they have separate NGBs and therefore receive more funding whilst we only receive 1 lot of funding for Bouldering, Sport, Trad, Hill Walking, Winter Climbing, Mountaineering etc etc...

How do you know they receive more funding than the would if they were under one governing body?

Why does climbing need more funding? It's not like there's a large financial barrier to entry (other than petrol money if you don't live near something worth climbing), so surely all we really need is access (which the BMC seem to do a good job of securing)?
nasher47 on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:

Actually I don't know anything, it is conjecture and I have made it clear that this is a hypothetical discussion. Equally though you can't confidentyly suggest that they don't.

Clearly I feel that there are areas where more needs to be done and sadly the barrier for much of this is resources (human) which cost money.
George Ormerod - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:

I'm interested that you think 'climbing' and 'mountaineering' are separate activities anyway. It sounds like you don't know that much about the history and the full spectrum of what mountaineering entails.
Robert Durran - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> If anything I would like to leave mountaineering alone and split off climbing. Sorry for the confusion.

Is that different from leaving climbing alone and splitting off mountaineering? Since I use the terms climbing and mountaineering more or less interchangeably I find the idea of separating them somewhat bizarre anyway.
GrahamD - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:

So what aspect of the broad climbing church do you think needs more funding and why ?
Bulls Crack - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

How about splitting off bouldering?

I can see it now: Today the British Organisation of Boulderers (BoB) secured a 500,000 Sports Council grant for the distribution of new beanies, toothbrushes and fingertape'
Mike Stretford - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47: There's a lot of willfull ignorance on this thread.

The BMC agrees with yours and most peoples use of language..... 'Working for climbers, hill walkers & mountaineers'
nasher47 on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to George Ormerod:

I think you may have glossed over some of my earlier comments where I have openly admitted to not knowing about mountaineering - you're comment doesn't seem astute or useful...
George Ormerod - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:
> (In reply to George Ormerod)
>
> I think you may have glossed over some of my earlier comments where I have openly admitted to not knowing about mountaineering - you're comment doesn't seem astute or useful...

Perhaps not, but aparantly true. How can you ask for a split between mountaineering and climbing if you don't understand one of the activities?
nasher47 on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

Well to be honest I've tried to avoid getting into this overly because I know that my particular areas of interest are not necessarily what everyone else is interested in but since you've asked explicitly:

FYI - I coach a number of young climbers and have had kids at each of the last 3 youth series finals. I am a very keen boulderer (inside and out) and come from a background of competing at national level in other sports.

*Please note these are personal opinions*

I don't feel that the current systems works to produce or support top level competition climbers in terms of coaching structures or competition provision. I think it is a poor reflection on the BMC that some of the best competitions in the UK are independently run and the BMC has little or no interest let alone input in them. I think the fact that we have essentially lost the UK round of the IFSC bouldering world cup is a great shame and more could and should have been done to keep it - it will be very hard to get it back now as our space in the calendar has been taken by another country.
I would like to see far more investment in coaching, route setting and competitions.

As well as this I would like to see a major program for the ecological care of the outdoor climbing environment where increased traffic is having a negative effect at certain climbing locations. For me this would include a concerted push to educate indoor climbers before they venture outside but also some investment in "infrastructure" to help reduce erosion of areas around the base of boulders and on the paths leading to and from them.
nasher47 on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to George Ormerod:

I'm asking for the split because I believe (correctly or not) that all areas of the sport could *potentially* gain from having a more focused and in touch NGB than the current umbrella that isn't able to focus on any particular aspect.

From me the BMC is a Jack of all trades, master of none
GrahamD - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:

Haven't you just made a case for competition climbing to be treated differently to other disciplines, rather than mountaineering ?
nasher47 on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

No... I'm pretty sure I put a bit in about outdoor climbing as well. But either way I feel certain that I can't be the only person who feels their preferred aspect/aspects of "mountaineering" couldn't do with better, more focused support.
Robert Durran - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to nasher47)
>
> Haven't you just made a case for competition climbing to be treated differently to other disciplines, rather than mountaineering ?

There is a case for competition climbing to be cut loose: competition climbing might get more funding and the resulting excellence by being able to make its own case while the BMC would be rid of the burden of a costly(?) potentially self-contained minority interest. However, the status quo, a broad church embracing climbing in all its wonderful forms from kiddies indoor bouldering comps to state of the art superalpinism, currently and, in my opinion, happily prevails.

GrahamD - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

Personally I agree, but if there was a case at all for a split anywhere then its at the competition level IMO
Monk - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD: I agree, if somewhat less than wholeheartedly. Comp climbing is quite different and has different demands to the rest of climbing that it seems to make sense, the same way that british cycling is different to the ctc, or team GB is different to the UK amateur athletics association. I still think the BMC is great though.
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JoshOvki on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to nasher47:

Aren't the BMC FUNdimentals courses partly funded (or going to be) by Sport England? Same as the different levels of coaching that are possibly going to be started soon.
nasher47 on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to JoshOvki:

No, to my knowledge, the FUNdamentals will make up one small part of the coaching quals that are being developed.

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