/ NEWS: Dave Turnbull of the BMC on UKC
On Tuesday 8th of December Dave was live on the UKC Forums to answer YOUR questions.
"Is he pulling his finger out at the BMC?"
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=50621
Just to let people know - I'll be online most of the day on the 8th; I've got a meeting for an hour or so late morning, will be stopping at 5.00pm ish to go to the wall, then will be back online to answer outstanding queries from 8.30 - 9.00pm onwards.
if anyone has any particularly tricky or technical queries which might need me to do some digging around / background research - please feel free to jot them down today / tonight on this thread.
I would like to get an update on the Fairycave quarry access issue in a bit of detail if at all possible. Is there anything the great unwashed can do other then to stay away?
I'll look into and try to have an answer - depends slightly on the availability of other key staff tomorrow. Cheers for now
OK, I'm here - a couple of things:
Firstly - don't expect me to know everything - if you've got a very specific technical query of some form then I may well refer you to the relevant person within the BMC to answer it.
Secondly - if you're posting anonymously I can make no commitment to respond.
What is your best day out climbing ever and why?
Hope you're well.
Please can you explain the membership discount situation. Why do I get 15% off with CTC (cycling membership) at Cotswold but only 10% with BMC.
Also, with the BMC shop we get 10% discount but the final price is still sometimes more than buying elsewhere.
I've now spoken to Guy Keating (BMC Access Officer) about this and the current situation is as follows:
Guy and one of our local Access Reps - Ian Butterworth - have been working with the Fairy Cave Management Committee and the landowner and we have now drawn up a draft access agreement for the site. We had a constructive meeting with the owner 2-3 weeks ago and the draft agreement has been sent to him within the last few days. The agreement includes new proposals about the way in climbers may be able to access the site as well as general points about protecting the environment of the crag.
All in all it things are moving along quite positively at the moment although nothing agreed yet and climbers are asked avoid the crag for the time being.
I'll keep an eye on this thread - no unregistered postings please.
Maybe doing the whole of Magical Mystery Tour with 6 mates and one in a canoe on a perfect blue sky day in about 1990. I think I was the only one not to fall in. Ken Palmer fell off the last move getting to the final beach -after c.5000ft of travering spread over 3 hrs or so.
Plus I had some fantastic days climbing in Hand of Fatima Area, Mali last December. Amazing country, lovely people and unlimitated climbing potential (if you can take the temperatures).
What are the plans for ACT (Access and Conservation Trust)?
A few years ago it had a web site, a dedicated page in Summit, and contributors were regularly listed. Now it only has a single page on the BMC web site and I can't find anywhere that contributors are not publicly recognised.
Is it being wound down in favour of the Crag Care Fund?
Would it not be easier to attract commercial sponsors if they were recognised publicly in BMC media?
I think the answer to this is that Cotswold have agreed a different deal with the CTC than the BMC; we think this has something to do with the CTC agreeing to promote Cotswold as one of their 'Preferred' retailers. The BMC has always veered away from showing preference to particular manufacturers or retailers as we have always felt it important to retain our independence and impartiality.
On the other question - basically other retailers decide to sell particular publications at reduced or discount prices from time to time. There is also the matter of postage costs which clearly would not be incurred if buying direct from a store
Trust all going well.
Apologies if you want nice easy questions, but it looks like that despite the support of the BMC by the old superstars at the AC AGM, which I admit I missed, so reporting second hand, the word is that 75% of AC members want the club's relationship with the BMC to change, which probably means leave it.
This seems to be in response to a road started by the BMC under your management, with the key change happening in 2007. My question is: Is this fall out with the clubs a surprise or preplanned?
Is there a Peak Ditrict limestone climb on the horizon? Any chance it could be bumped up the priority list?
What are your views on the issues at Costa del Dali.
Looks to me like an attempt to open up easy sport routes could back fire massively by jeapordising access to much more of the Dinorwig quarries.
Well done on London Wall by the way!
Yes, fair question.
The Access & Conservation Trust (ACT) was set up in late 2001 as part of a plan to turn the BMC office into a central administrative central (known as Mountain Services) for the Mountain Leader Training Boards, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and Mountaineering Ireland. The idea at the time was that by setting up a UK wide Trust covering A&C issues - it would encourage the MCofS and others to buy into Mountain Services. The reality has been that ACT has proved difficult to operate - Mountaineering Ireland never fully bought into it and the MCofS rarely send a trustee to meetings. Essentially ACT is a BMC run entity yet it has a UK wide remit and its member organisations are the BMC, MCofS and MI.
..boring background I know, but the end effect is that the development of ACT has been slowed down and decision making (i.e. on allocation of money to projects) has not always been that quick. I think its also fair to say that we've struggled on the website front - setting them up is one thing but maintaining them is another thing.
Another part of the issue is that (surprisingly) it has not always proved easy to find projects to fund i.e. there has been limited demand for ACT funding therefore limited pressure to raise money.
The Crag Care Fund is a separate entity with a different remit - it is a very 'climbing specific' fund compared to ACT which aims to cover more general mountain access and conservation projects and campaigns.
Cath Flitcroft is on the case with ACT; now that the Marine & Coastal Act has come into place, and we have an A&C Officer covering Wales this should hopefully free up some of her time to look more closely at the development of ACT.
Thanks for the reminder!
As a small business, there is no incentive to give to a fund that gives no publicity in return and appears not to know what to spend its money on even if it does get any.
With this in mind, and the fact that the ACT is unmanageable due to the UK wide remit, then wouldn't it be much better to let it die and recreate something more manageable?
If you did do this, then I would urge you to do it in conjunction with active outdoor businesses to come up with something that was mutually beneficial rather than the current rather aimless fund (which I realise was created at a very different time at the BMC).
The usual question is does the BMC do enough for the climbers of England and Wales.
But as CEO are you happy with the support you get from climbers (members or not). I only ever attend the Peak Area meet and that seems reasonably well attended but compared the number of climbers in and around the peak is fairly insignificant.
How can we as climbers/walkers/mountaineers etc etc make the BMC a stronger/better organisation (otehr than just paying more money for the BMC to spend)
Membership discussions between the BMC and the AC go back quite a few years now and revolve around - money (BMC subscriptions) and the fact that many of the AC's activities take place overseas. As the world's first mountaineering club - the AC is an exceptional and unique club; it was one of the founders of the BMC back in 1944 so clearly there has been a long history of involvement between the two organisations.
There are approx 320 mountaineering clubs affilaited to the BMC and my feeling is that the bulk of these clubs are satisfied with their membership of the BMC and the work and services they get for their money. It might be worth me noting down a few relevant points:
1. Club subscriptions will be stable until at least 1 Jan 2012. The BMC AGM this year agreed on a subscriptions freeze for 2011. The National Council meeting last weekend agreed to put a proposal to next year AGM for 'no increase' in subscriptions in 2011. In the view of the BMC President, Treasurer and myself - the balance between club and individual member subs is not about right.
2. As of 2-3 months ago we have a formally constituted Clubs Committee within the BMC. This is a signifiacnt development which ensures a voice for clubs at the heart of the BMC. There are 2 'National Club' reps on Clubs Committee - John Farrow (|Rucksack Club) and Fiona Samders (CC).
3. The BMC has made a strategic commitment (in our 2009-13 Strategic PLan) to improve our work and services for clubs and to continually review and improve our club membership renewal process in order to minimise the administration burden placed on club secretaries and officials.
4. We're committing to providing quality technical support for clubs:: 2 weeks ago we ran a technical seminar for affilated clubs at the BMC office; this covered legal insurance and huts issues in depth and was well received by the 50 or so club members who attended.
5. All club members receive £10m worth of 3rd party liability cover that as part of their membership of the BMC.
The BMC is mixture of individual members and club members and it is essential that the organisation strikes the right balance in the way it deals with these two forms of membership. We are also a very broad church organisation (covering everything from himalayan moutnaineering to bouldering and summer fell walking) so its always going to be the case that not everything we do will be relevant to everyone.
Ultimately - the AC is very very important to the BMC and it is essential that we keep on talking. It was encouraging to hear that at the AC AGM there was a strong vote in favour of the AC retaining its current relationship with the BMC
(note: apologies - I could spend all day on this subject and had better get onto some of the other questions on this forum!)
..assume you mean Guidebook?
The answer is that its on the list but I suspect its a year or two off yet; but if you're offering your life away to get involved - please contact Mr Grimes.
Froggatt is next (out in 3-4 months) then Over the Moors (Kinder/Chew etc) in late 2010.
Also - while I'm on the subject - and I know I'm biased - but am I alone in thinking that the new Roaches is the best definitive guidebook every produced in the UK? If you've not seen it, take a look, its a fantastic effort. http://www.bmcshop.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=357_358_186&products_id=5568
Why does the BMC purport to represent hill walkers when the majority of its activities are focused on climbing and mountaineering?
I'm guessing that should read "now about right"
Maybe Mr James can correct your post. And if he then deletes this post then no one will be any wiser !
I can only edit the starter post in threads, sorry.
Do you still manage to fit in the hard adventure climbing; any plans to return to Hoy/Foula etc?
I've not climbed there so find it a bit difficult to comment but one things for sure is that its become super popular since its been bolted up. And I know from speaking to some of the outdoor centres and group users that its particularly inportant for them. Our relationship with First Hydro (the owners) is important however and we felt there was a limit to how much we could push the fencing issue, given the fact that they control of the bulk of the other Llanberis quarries which tend to be more important to individual climbers. I also think we need to respect the fact that the owners have genuine public safety responsibilities and concerns.
I understand that despite the new fence its still possible for climbers to climb in Dali's Hole, so thats a good thing.
> ..interesting one.
> I've not climbed there so find it a bit difficult to comment but one things for sure is that its become super popular since its been bolted up. And I know from speaking to some of the outdoor centres and group users that its particularly inportant for them. Our relationship with First Hydro (the owners) is important however and we felt there was a limit to how much we could push the fencing issue, given the fact that they control of the bulk of the other Llanberis quarries which tend to be more important to individual climbers. I also think we need to respect the fact that the owners have genuine public safety responsibilities and concerns.
> I understand that despite the new fence its still possible for climbers to climb in Dali's Hole, so thats a good thing.
BMC poised on top of the new fence for now then! ;-)
Yes - most definitely - the BMC's formal remit covers climbing, hill walking, mountaineering and ski mountaineering. There is quite a lot of discussion going on within the BMC about this right now - we're looking at ways of improving what we do for hill walker; as an example we've just agreed with Plas y Brenin to run 4 bespoke course for hill walkers (at heavily subsidised prices ) in April/May next year covering navigation, hill skills and the transistion to scrambling. We're alos continuing to roll out the British Moutnain Mapo series (with Harvey Maps) and we're still heavily involved with the development of access legislation in both England and Wales.
Sorry if it all seems a bit climbery sometimes - I think we need more vocal walkers within the BMC to come forward - climbers are never backward in making there case and to an extent we end up having to react to those who shout loudest.
..yes well spotted - it should of course read, '...now about right'.
off line for the next 45 minutes - back at c.12.20am
Great you are doing this live show! There is a lot I like about the BMC but not sure it fits nowadays with the AC.
Just a point of facts: there was no vote at the AC AGM, just a show of hands. The meeting had been pre stuffed by grandees who took all the time available to make speeches, some of them clearly on order and wandering off subject. There was no time left for other opinions to be voiced. They were 74 members at this AGM. Many more (a few hundreds) have responded to our survey voicing their wish to stop the automatic BMC membership.
Also, when we explore the pssiblility of not having an automatic BMC membershiop for AC members, this is not a question of money. It is a matter of principle of individual choice for the members. A number are abroad and for them it is nor relevant. A number of UK members belong to other clubs, so that would not affect them anyway. On the admin side, why be a subscription collector?
It has never been envisaged NOT to cooperate with the BMC, just to stop being a subscription collector for members who in their majority do not wish it.
Hi Dave -- that was a brilliant day wasn't it? 5/3/88 Glynn, Nick, Chris, Ken, me, yourself and Graham in support canoe. I am sure I have a soggy photo of us at the end. I will upload it if I can find it. It was funny to see Ken fall off the last move -- a shame he dogged it ha ha! I took my second fall there.
I managed to delete you as a climber partner from my log the other day -- nothing personal. Must catch up sometime.
What is the BMC doing to help tackle Climate Change?
Would the BMC consider placing the activity of slacklining under its wing?
Here in London there have been discussions with the Royal Parks who at present do not allow the activity mainly due to people not having insurance.
At the end of the discussions this year it was deemed that if slacklining was to go ahead then we would need to:
a) Designate areas for people to pursue the activity.
b) Have some kind of insurance, a little like what climbers have with BMC membership insurance.
Do you think the BMC membership insurance could be stretched, altered or possably make available a yearly top up fee to incorporate slacklining in participating parks?
The various instructing communities seem to be almost as diverse as mountaineering activities themselves. The national governing bodies are divided territorially and the leader/instructor associations are hierarchical i.e. MLTA, AMI, MIC, BMG, with specific activity offshoots such as the BAIML and the mountain biking community. Also, there are bodies such as AALA that have a specific legal remit, NICAS with its clear environment boundary and the Scouting Association with its own complete range of protocols.
Has the BMC ever considered becoming involved in some impartial and overarching capacity?
Can you gurantee this Mr T? It has been estimated before (just a few times?! ;0)
Tried to go to Northern Scotland this May and the forecast was so appaling that we rediverted to Cape Town at 24 hrs notice instead. Quite keen on Pabbay next May/June. Have probably 'done' Foula now - what a beautiful place; luckily no one else has discovered it yet
ACT still has value and does fund some very important work - we're putting a list together and will post this later on
The BMC is a genuine partnership between volunteers, staff and local activists. Personally - compared to 6-7 yrs ago I think the BMC has a good level of respect amongst climbers and mountaineers these days. We've done a great deal to focus on members priorities over that period and I think its starting to pay off.
If you want to help out you could think about:
>Encouraging non-members to join the BMC; the more people that get involved -the stronger our voice within government and the greater the influence we have in negotiations with the authorities. One of the main reasons the RSPB is so influential is that they have over 1,000,000 members.
>Encouraging people to get involved with the BMC at a local level. The Area Meetings are lively and interesting these days - we've tried to move away from the old style stuffy / dry affairs to give them more of a social dimension.
I just want to say thanks to the BMC, I've been told that as an (individual) BMC member the civil liability insurance covers me for any accidents that my dog causes (chasing sheep, knocking rocks onto other people, knocking them over the edge of cliffs etc...) to the tune of £10 million which is far better than my ordinary dog insurance which only goes up to £2.5m and which I'm doubtful would cover Rover for the sort of mountaineery/scrambling we often do together - he even does a bit of easy climbing (with a judicious shove!)
- This is correct isn't it Dave?
As a dog owner yourself I'm sure you are au fait with this!
I know we havn't met but I would like to invite you to visit us at the BMC at a time of your convenience to see what goes on here and to find out more about the way in which we deal with club administration - maybe one day in January or February ?
Part of the answer to your question is that admin systems within a membership organisition like the BMC are complex (very) and we have to try to keep things as simple, clear and consistant as possible otherwise things rapidly become unmanageble.
On the question of club members having a choice of whether of not they become a BMC member on joining the club - I think this needs clarification. The BMC Clubs Working Group (CWG) came up with the proposal for a club member 'Opt-out' option earlier this year. When this was initially envisaged it was on the basis that people in clubs could choose whether they paid to become a BMC member or not. It was then concluded by the CWG that clubs did in fact what all of their members to be covered by BMC 3rd party liability insurance. The term 'Opt-out' (and the idea that club members would be able to choose BMC membership or not) is therefore misleading; what we are actually talking about is setting up a cut price / basic BMC club member package with a subscrtiption saving of about £5.00 member. i.e. based on current subs rates - the 'choice' would be between paying £6.75 rather than £11.75 - it would not be choice of being a BMC or not being a BMC member.
(note: this difficult to cover in time limited foum of this nature so hopefully you'll be able to make it to Manchester)
I'm not quite clear about your point about us being a subscription collector, maybe you could expand on this?
..well there you go - I had no idea that you were Kafoozalem ! All the best for now.
..yes, this is a big big issue. The BMC Access, Conservation & Environment Group (ACEG) has been putting quite a bit of thought into it over the last couple of years. Please see the following links and documents:
and more genrally:
Thanks for this - interesting.
The answer is that I doubt it.
I assume you're talking about 3rd party liability cover rather than accident or medical cover?As a general rule our insurance is set up to cover mountaineering based activities.
If you can give me a little more info I will sound out our insurers - they happen to be meeting with us in the BMC office tomorrow morning; its a longshot but I'm happy to ask the question.
The words 'no' and 'minefield' spring to mind.
Its a fair point that its a complex and confusing landscape of mountain training related organisations however, but as to the BMC getting involved in some new form of overarching capacity, I really think we've got enough on our plate as it is.
The way it works at present is that the BMC is a director of MLTE and we're also a member of MLTUK (now know as MLT) the UK-wide co-ordinating body for mountain training. Our influence at a UK level is through participation in MLTUK. Strategic and day-to-day dealings with the likes of AALA, the Scouts, AMI and other associated bodies is the job of the staff and officials of MLTE and MLTUK.
There is an ongoing discussion within the Mountain Leader Training organisations about how the current structure and the work of the training boards can be streamlined and simplified. This tends to get tied up in home nation (Eng, Ire, Scot, Wales) politics and doesn't always move along as quick as it might.
The BMC is directly involved with NICAS through Rob Adie (BMC Walls & Comps Officer) who sits on the NICAS Management Committee. They're meeting today in the BMC office as I's writing this.
Its nearly there and I'm very confident that it'll be out by the time of the BMC AGM i.e. 17 April. (2010 that is).
Actually Dave that isn't true.
Prior to January 2007 the affiliated 'Clubs' were the BMC members and the members of those clubs were covered by the Civil Liability despite not being actual BMC members themselves.
What the clubs wanted was a return to this 'affiliation' status for those of their members who didn't want to be actual BMC members.
Since these "opted-out" people would still be supporting the BMC with their affiliation contribution of £6 (which amply covers the £3.13 civil liability cost) the CWG didn't see a problem with this.
-It was okay before January 2007 so what is the problem.
"the idea that club members would be able to choose BMC membership or not) is therefore" NOT "misleading" - it is what CWG discussed and agreed.
What you have written in your posting about "a cut price / basic BMC club member package" is the first we in the CWG has heard about this!
I'm the only offcier working for any of the training boards based in the offices of one of the councils.
Here's a selection of some of the projects supported by the BMC through the Access & Conservation Trust (ACT) since 2007:
> Kilnsley footpath conservation project, £1500
> Production of the Crag Habitat & Woodland Management Publication, £1400
> Vixen Tor Campaign Postcard, £100
> Pembroke Belay Stake replacement Project, £1600
> Printed 5,000 of Sandstone Code of Practice, £250
> Produced access sign(s) for Giggleswick Scar, £250
> Contribution to Stanage Bus service, £1000
> Ban-y-Gor - tree clearance, £415
> North Wales Alliance to Influence the Management of Off-roading, £700
> Sea walls Ground Repair, Avon Gorge, £500
> Re-printing the lake District Climbing Guide, £820
> Berry Head access sign, £170
> Re-printing BMC Green Guide to the Uplands, £2600
> Coastal Climbing Site Audit Report for DEFRA/Natural England, £2050
There is a lot good work here, but I agree - we havn't been the best at publicising it or acknowledging the contributions ACT has received over the years.
I'd just like to congratulate the team behind Summit magazine (presumably mainly Alex Messenger?), for the outstanding work over the last few years.
A great publication and one I always look forward to reading when it drops through the letter box.
Thanks Andy - I assume its Andy Blakeley
There's one too many red herrings in your posting for me to make much sense of. My initial posting stands.
Give me a call any time if you want to discuss this.
Of course not!
(The club wouldn't return to being the member)
The great majority of the clubs members would not "opt-out" and would therefore still have their members' vote.
The current situation is that the 'affiliated club' isn't a member and doesn't have a vote, and there is no need to change that.
I'm sorry Dave - what I have posted is crystal clear and correct.
There are no "Red Herrings".
Yes, I think Summit is a very strong publication these days and that Alex is doing a 1st class job with it.
The biggest challenge with Summit is getting the right balance of articles - particularly good quality hill walking articles with stunning images. The two main topics of feedback I get from members are that a. Summit is great, and b. there's not enough hill walking content.
We're always on the look-out for well written articles with good pics so if you're keen please contact email@example.com; the circulation of the next issue of Summit (March 2010) is about 55000 so there's some incentive.
North Wales Alliance to Influence the Management of Off-roading ?
what are they doing about the southern Rhinogs ? The area around the old bridge an over to the Maddawach seen here http://bit.ly/5iBQJP the approaches to the bridge are a real mess and the zig zags up to the south are awful... this is a view towards the bridge from the north http://bit.ly/8jFggg we saw a team of bikers passing this way from the zig zags
Most weekends teams of off road trials bikes can be seen heading out up this valley and there is a bike shop in the village which could do with information posters in and a couple of other garages in Barmouth as well to educate the riders about reducing the impact over the this particular right of way ... it is also a well documented mountain bike trail, mags have covered the loop a few times ... a quick look at a 1:25,000 map reveals the trail with ease...
It is a shame we seem to be a forgotten 1/4 of Snowdonia regarding motor bikes ...
How are there any information for riders posters and leaflets which may be given out to the locations mentioned to make them more aware ??
Thanks in anticipation ..
> We're always on the look-out for well written articles with good pics so if you're keen please contact firstname.lastname@example.org; the circulation of the next issue of Summit (March 2010) is about 55000 so there's some incentive.
Not being cheeky - I wondered if you pay a fee for articles/photos used?
It was perhaps a little disingenuous of me to ask a question to which I pretty much knew the answer but I thought others might find the answer informative. Also, I was interested to see if the BMC had an evolving strategic view on this whole issue of qualifications and instruction.
With increasing public/media interest in the ‘overburdened’ mountain rescue teams, I wonder how long the BMC will be able to restrict its involvement to the steering of individual training boards. Also, steering the qualifications does not directly influence the various associations of award holders/providers in the way they interface to the public or govenment opinion.
For instance, purely being a Devil’s advocate, what (or who) is to stop some government busy body looking at the way the British Gliding Association operates its bronze/silver/gold…. award scheme and deciding that anyone venturing out on the hill should hold at least a NNAS silver award.
When the BMC host it's international meets, and send climbers abroad to represent the UK on similar things (if they exist) - do you make sure that delegations are gender balanced (both incoming and outgoing)?
I've just spoken to our brokers about this and they have confirmed that BMC members are covered by Civil Liability Insurance in relation incidents caused by dogs.
I had nowt for either article or image used, just an indication - its variable, i guess some are luckier than others.
Summit relies on voluntary contributions. But we do dish out BMC guidebooks / maps etc to writers and if photos are used at 1/2 page or bigger. If anyone hasn't got a guidebook for photo usage, then drop me an email - it's probably down to email issues. Cheers.
It sounds like you've got you've got some useful information on the subject but I'll have to refer you to Elfyn Jones and Cath Flitcroft as I'm not that well up on the off-roading issue in Wales:
I'd also suggest you get in touch with the chair of BMC Cymru / Wales.
All the best
One of the fundemental roles of the BMC is to fight to preserve the freedoms of mountaineers and our ability to take risks.
Regarding your final paragraph - if it came to that (which there are no indications it will) I can assure the BMC and the mountain training organisations would have a great deal to say on the matter at the highest levels we could manage within the Government.
re: the 2nd last line in my last post - that should of course read, '... I can assure [you] the BMC...'.
I'm glad to hear you (the BMC) continue to take a robust and pragmatic view of risk. I fear you'll be busy defending it in the future.
Thanks for this, its a good point.
Regarding the annual BMC International Meet - which alterates between Glenmore Lodge (winter) and Plas y Brenin (summer) - we state in the literature sent to UIAA federations that they can nominate up to two people to attend and that they should try to send one male and one female. In reality the split of overseas guests tends to be c. 80-90% male to 10-20% female. UK hosts are selected based on their experience of the area and the gender split of the overseas guests. We do not receive many applications from woman and it would certainly be great to receive more. The May 2010 International Meet is at Lands End http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=2743 so if you know the area it might be worth a look.
Regarding overseas Meets - there aren't that many of these but we ALWAYS try to get the right split. e.g. last year we put forward one man and one woman for the AAC 'Splitter Camp' in Utah.
I'd be interested to hear about some specific ideas about what the BMC could do to improve its work for hill walkers.
Please drop me a line to let me know.
Heh heh! Can you imagine the delight of the overseas 80-90% if they arrived in the UK to an 80-90% set of UK women climbers? :-)
Pegs on sea cliffs - discuss.
What do climbers feel should be done about the issue of old and decaying pegs at Pembroke for example? I think this is quite an issue as there are many quality routes (esp. in the E3-E7 range) which are now a grade or two harder due to the state of the pegs. I remember speaking to Steve McClure and Ben Bransby about this last year and their view (in summary) was that maybe the pegs should be removed and the routes re-climbed and re-graded accordingly. Personally I think they have a point. The downside of course is that quite a lot of quality routes - say in Huntsmans Leap - would be bumped up in grade and would become inaccessible to many climbers.
Perhaps this isn't the time and place for a discussion - but I would say we do need a serious think about this.
Why is that a downside? There are plenty of routes which are inaccessible to me - if I want to climb them, I need to be willing to put the effort in!
First, how well do you think you are balancing your desire and that of other BMC staff to do 'more' on behalf of members with the result the that BMC grows as an organisation against the desire of a large number of members (both club and individual) for the BMC to remain lean, efficient and above all cost effective?
Second, do you think that perhaps promoting BMC Membership more in terms of being a 'charitable' contribution that supports valuable work on behalf of all climbers and mountaineers rather than as a fee in exchange for 'tangible benefits' might help move the debate away from the 'value for money' issue that clouds the BMC/Club relationship currently?
Look forward to hearing your views,
Some opinions on here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=359624
I think most people are not in favour of pegs on sea cliffs anymore (has someone told Dave Pickford yet?)
A lot of routes in e.g. the Leap have threads, which if replaced, mean they would stay the same grade anyway.
The intro to this thread mentions better funding for British teams but haven't seen an answer.
Can you explain the suggested deficiency and how the BMC will improve funding?
Also, how are the BMC nurturing the stars of the future?
What's all this about building an outdoor artificial crag in the South-East? Surely the BMC is not putting funds into this?
Thanks Mark - nice easy questions there (not!).
1. In my view organisations either move on and develop or they risk stagnating and becoming redundant. Personally I think the BMC's doing ok on this front. In terms of staff numbers we've changed little (if any) since 2001 and there are no plans to increase our staff at the moment; the recent appointment of an A&C Officer for Wales was prompted by demands from members and has been widely heralded as a positive development. From my experience of other comparable sports bodies (e.g the CTC which has roughly the same membership as the BMC) we're very similar in terms of staff numbers. The fact is that the BMC covers an exceptionally wide range of activities and issues compared to virtually all of the other sports I come across; as a result we're very thinly spread on the ground and can't always direct the necessary level of time, effort and money at all issues. Slimming down the BMC, and being more 'lean' would probably mean stopping doing certain things. In my experience this would probably be a difficult thing to do as there always seem to be more people wanting us to 'do more' than there are people wanting us to 'do less'.
2. I agree entirely with your second point. We've been trying to do this over the past couple of years through our 'Climb It, Walk It, Protect It' advertising campaign. Its a long game this one but personally I think we're starting to get there. But it needs more than just central advertising messages, I think it needs individual BMC members from around the country to become advocates for the organsiation and to help us promote the BMC's work at a local level and within the outdoor media. The BMC is owned by its members and it is open to eveyone to get involved.
> 2. I agree entirely with your second point. We've been trying to do this over the past couple of years through our 'Climb It, Walk It, Protect It' advertising campaign. Its a long game this one but personally I think we're starting to get there. But it needs more than just central advertising messages, I think it needs individual BMC members from around the country to become advocates for the organsiation and to help us promote the BMC's work at a local level and within the outdoor media. The BMC is owned by its members and it is open to eveyone to get involved.
You mention lots about people helping driving the BMC forward.
What incentives do you give to be a volunteer? National Trust gives membership, discounts and parking privileges as well as cost reimbursements
The basic problem is that neither UK Sport nor Sport England will provide any financial support for the British Climbing Teams. Unfortunately we're one or several sports that fall through a funding gap. UK Sport pulled out of supporting mountaineering due to its focus on Olympic sports only; Sport England will not fund non-Olympic elite sport. We have however managed to secure improved Sport England support for competition climbing between 2009-13 and this has had a knock-on benefit for the Teams. The £15k per year BMC contribution which we've put towards Competitions over recent years has been largely redirected to support the Teams this year.
We've also set up a programme of talent identification days amongst other things - to help young climbers - and our Youth Competition Series seemed to be going from strength to strength. For further background see
The tricky one is this:
How to you see things developing in UK with respect to competition climbing given that the BMC as a representative body is potentially neither in the position to be, nor in the view of many members should be, the pro-active UK-wide Governing Body that competition climbing ideally requires in the longer term if indoor climbing is to realise its full potential as a mainstream competitive sport?
This was raised at National Council last wkend by the BMC London & South East Area there is some enthusiasm for the idea amongst South East climbers. We're not putting in any money at the moment. Chris Lund the Area chair is doing some more research on the subject and will be reporting back to the BMC in late-Feb. Its got a very long way to go this one.
...I need a rest, Stockport wall is beckoning, so briefly
Answer: it depends if the IFSC starts to makes real headway with the IOC and if there are real indications that climbing might become an Olympic sport. As it happens the IFSC met with the IOC last week (note: I've not heard the outcome). Last month I happened to meet the Campaigns Director for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic bids (Mike Lee, Vero Campaigning) and I asked him about the scope for climbing becoming and Olympic sport. He was'nt exactly positive on the subject - and to quote him, '..it won't happen in my lifetime' (I'd say he was 55 ish).
The BMC is committed to support competition climbing and we will continue to do that as best we can.
I'll be back online for an hour so later tonight - around 9.00 ish.
Many thanks to everyone who has chipped in sofar.
I 'volunteer' for the BMC in various ways. In each case it is because I see clear benefits either to me or UK climbing generally, it is never because of any 'incentives'.
Thanks a lot for your dedication to this debate. I think there have been some great questions asked and good responses.
Currently 2,000+ views and 84 replies, 38 from Dave.
Enjoy your climbing tonight.
I too haven't heard any outcomes (I am the BMC Rep on the IFSC) but will let people know anything I hear. I do know that the IFSC are targeting the next short list - published in spring 2013 for the 2020 Games.
I guess I'm just repeating what has already been said, but I agree that the BMC is not best placed to promote or represent sport climbing.
Has any though been put into the BMC giving this responsibility to another organisation, or forming another 'competitive climbing' body, so that the BMC can concentrate on the real climbing?
Is this something that you think there would be support for within the BMC, or do you think there is any inherent benifit in having one body for two very different activities comp/sport(indoor) climbing vs. mountaineering?
Well done & thanks for making yourself available - I guess there are many strands that have been ongoing - hill walking for one and as The Peak Area Access Rep for this - I will endeavor to raise it at the nest meeting in the spring at the Area meet.
Can't wait for Froggatt - The Roaches is great & I am very proud of our new guide - but Froggatt will be the Cherry on the icing on the cake!
Sport climbing is an integral part of outdoor climbing so I guess by referring to it you actually mean competition climbing. The fact the world body is called the International Federation for Sport Climbing (IFSC) is a confusing misnomer - they have nothing to do with sport climbing - just competition climbing.
The idea of passing responsibility for competitions to another organisation is something that rears its head from time to time, but nothing serious has ever come of it. Basically running the annual comps programme takes quite a lot of money and administrative effort and without serious external resources (money) its not really very realistic for another organnisation to take it. Some people might feel the BMC is not best placed to deal with Competition Climbing but at the moment the BMC is all there is and at least someone's doing it.
Personally I think that at this stage in the evolution of competition climbing its probably best leaving it with the BMC, especially given that we've managed to secure extra Sport England money for it until 2013.
Yes theres been quite a few interesting things that have come up today. + Grimer also tells me that 'Froggatt will definitely be out' by the AGM in April.
I read in one of your (very) occasional blogs, that a couple of years ago you did Body Machine at Raven Tor.
I also heard that you had been on - perhaps done? - one of the two new starts which take the place of the late, lamented ash tree.
Do you think you might one day return to Raven Tor, to link the two together?
...the trouble with sport climbing for a punter like me is that is bloody hard work and requires consistent effort to make any progress. Life at the BMC tends to revolve around evening and weekend meetings so finding consistency can be tricky. Theres also the fact that it rains all the time round these parts. I was at RT a couple of months ago with the legendary Dominic Lee and we both managed to RP the right hand start up to the B Machine rockover. I'd really prefer to do the Prow I suppose - historic Extreme Rock tick and all that. I'm planning a day or two of sun baked rock at Cheddar between Xmas and New Year with Paul Robertson - Paradise Lost perhaps arms and weather permitting, then it'll be a case of waiting another 4 months for RT to dry out.
Ever the postive and all that.
Which were Andy Yorks' "red herrings"? I thought his description of the situation was very accurate.
What's been your highlight of the year, both professionally and personally ?
Well, by personally, I mean in terms of climbing (or hill walking), rather than anything too personal....
...and yes - the blog thing proved too much to keep up - so I've resorted to Twitter instead as its much quicker to deal with - see DaveTurnbullBMC
Give me a call at the BMC office anytime Francoise, or if you'd prefer - I'll call you.
> What's been your highlight of the year, both professionally and personally ?
> Well, by personally, I mean in terms of climbing (or hill walking), rather than anything too personal....
>Climbing with Ed February in the Cape Town area in May, he's some character.
>Doing the Three Peaks Yacht race and managing 24 miles and 16 on the Ben; unfortunately my knees took a full 3 months to get over it, but I've started running again now.
>Doing London Wall first go in September.
>Doing a 7c 1st go ground up (clips in place) at Suirana 3 wks ago.
>The CC Family Meet at the Count House in July - the kids had a great time.
>Doing Pagan in 2 hrs in fading light with Jon Garside in September after an all day MLTE meeting - it was touch and go leading the top pitch and I got lost.
>And of course, all those lovely lovely BMC meetings I've been part of.
> >Doing London Wall first go in September.
....just for the record, there's another typo in my 11.06am posting:
'1. Club subscriptions will be stable until at least 1 Jan 2012. The BMC AGM this year agreed on a subscriptions freeze for 2011. The National Council meeting last weekend agreed to put a proposal to next year AGM for 'no increase' in subscriptions in 2011...'
The 2nd sentence should read, 'The BMC AGM this year agreed on a subscriptions freeze for 2010.'
The remainder of the statement is correct and the strong likelihood is that club subs will remain level until 1 Jan 2012.
+ hopefully you've had an email from Alex about the Community site Chris - he was suggesting Wed or Thurs for a meeting. Over to you on that one.
Yep, we've been in contact. Not sure if I'm going to get over this week though
Personally I don't think we're that good in this area, but getting any sort of changes agreed tends to be difficult. Part of the problem is the sheer number of different people involved. Volunteers attending BMC meeting or conducting specific work on our behalf receive travel expenses.
Maybe come across with Rab tomorrow ? He's leaving Sheffield sometime around 10.30am
> ...the strong likelihood is that club subs will remain level until 1 Jan 2012.
I must say I am somewhat concerned that this flies in the face of the motion agreed at the 2008 AGM where this resolution was passed:
> 8.1 Resolution: “It shall be a strategic objective of the BMC to address the differential between Individual and Club members, such that all categories of members make a proportionate contribution towards the services provided”.
The BMC now seems to be ignoring a resolution agreed at the AGM.
Apparently the BMC now has a huge cash surplus (about £1.6million) which is very likely to increase still further in 2010 due to the subscriptions paid by its members.
To keep faith with the resolution passed at the AGM I would respectfully submit that the BMC should reduce this 'differential' by reducing the subscription fees of the Individual members.
I would suggest that a new fee of £23.50 be introduced.
This would also be in keeping with the letter the then BMC president Charles Clarke sent to clubs in January 2008 stating:
"The emerging view is that over the next 5 years club subscriptions should end up at 50% of the rate of individual subscriptions."
(Incidentally I am a 'club member' so this is of no personal advantage).
(I've now reposted the above on the BMC forum, so please reply to it there if you have any views on it - thanks.)
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