/ Are the BMC funding speed climbing teams ?

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GrahamD - on 04 Oct 2017
As in the title, really. As speed climbing is part of Olympic climbing and the BMC seems to want to retain competition climbing under its wing - does this mean that BMC subs are being used to train and fund people at speed climbing ?

Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

The BMC subsidises competition climbing, and speed climbing is part of that. However, as your question specifically relates to speed climbing, the answer is no. No speed climbing training sessions have ever taken place using BMC funding. Any speed climbing comp held in the uk has been alongside another comp already taking place, so no additional funding has been used for the speed climbing itself.
The BMC has entered competitors in speed climbing events as part of international events, however, no competitor from GB Climbing Team has ever entered a speed climbing comp on its own, always alongside a lead / boulder comp taking place at the same venue.

And to reiterate the other side of the cross funding argument; many people join the BMC from the comp side, in order to benefit from entry discounts. If more than 1,800 people approx) have joined the BMC as a result of comp participation, then they are in fact subsidising the other activities of the BMC.

Hope this satisfactorily answers your concern,

Ian Walton, Chair, BMC comps
Tyler - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> If more than 1,800 people approx) have joined the BMC as a result of comp participation, then they are in fact subsidising the other activities of the BMC.

Which begs the question.....

1poundSOCKS - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> If more than 1,800 people approx) have joined the BMC as a result of comp participation, then they are in fact subsidising the other activities of the BMC.

Hardly fair on the comp climbers, they should have their own representative body.
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

If its the question I think you are thinking of, then the answer is that its not about money; its about climbing. Virtually all the teams / development squad also climb extensively outdoors; we all benefit from the access / equipment / training / insurance / other services the BMC offers, so splitting off would be of no benefit to anyone.

And comps bring many other benefits to the BMC - brand awareness among young climbers, publicity etc. Cant quantify it, but surely of major value in getting people aware of all the BMC's work.......

Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

We do have, its called the BMC. It provides services that help comp climbers in whatever type of climbing we do. Its a bit of a fallacy to assume comp climbers dont do anything else ;)
L Coolmax - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

"many people join the BMC from the comp side"

How many?
GrahamD - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> If its the question I think you are thinking of, then the answer is that its not about money; its about climbing. Virtually all the teams / development squad also climb extensively outdoors; we all benefit from the access / equipment / training / insurance / other services the BMC offers, so splitting off would be of no benefit to anyone.

I'm obviously someone who doesn't buy this. They probably all ride bikes as well but it doesn't mean UK cycling should be part of the BMC.

All you are stating is why its convenient for competition climbers - but "The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the representative body that exists to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, including ski-mountaineers."

In terms of numbers, I presume that competition climbers are a tiny fraction of the number climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers.

Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:

Dont know, it would be very hard to calculate exactly. However, every year the YCS attracts approx 900 - 1000 competitors, and approx 50% are BMC members, benefitting from reduced entry costs. I suspect quite a few of those initially join purely for this reason (we did as a family many moons ago), and hopefully continue their membership as they either progress in the comp world, or broaden their climbing horizons into other areas (or both!).

It might not be exactly 1800, but it may well not be far off...........
1poundSOCKS - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> It provides services that help comp climbers in whatever type of climbing we do.

Do I get access to the same comp funding then? I always thought it was a bit elitist, and you could get more benefit if you were a better climber. But happy to admit I don't really know how comps and funding work.
Offwidth - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I doubt that. Many trad centred climbers, like me, formally competition climb at their local wall and from the numbers of walls and results lists that must include many thousand BMC climbing members. The BMC membership is around the 85, 000 mark and I think more than half have hill/mountain walking as their main activity.
Tyler - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> If its the question I think you are thinking of, then the answer is that its not about money; its about climbing.

Then maybe you shouldn't bring the subject of money up and vaguely suggest comp climbers are subsidising other members.
L Coolmax - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

"YCS attracts approx 900 - 1000 competitors, and approx 50% are BMC members" so around 500, and they'll be on a reduced U18 or part of a family rate.

So how much does the BMC spend on competition climbing?
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Its convenient for all climbers. Comp climbing is just a different type of climbing. We all climb, in whatever sphere of climbing. We have a representative body that does its best to represent all climbers.

You'll have to explain why you bring in UK Cycling to this - to me it is utterly irrelevant. The BMC exists to provide services to climbers, irrespective of their other activities.

As a percentage of the climbing population - not sure what that population is, or where the cut off is between activities, as I suspect most climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, including ski-mountaineers take part in many or all of those activities. But if you look at all those who take part in comps in the uk, its (very broad figures) between 15k and 20k per year - this isnt exactly the first time this question has turned up on here........
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Do I get access to the same comp funding then? I always thought it was a bit elitist, and you could get more benefit if you were a better climber. But happy to admit I don't really know how comps and funding work.

Yes if you take part in BMC comps or get onto the team / development squad.
Frank the Husky - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Are you looking for a conspiracy where none exists?
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:

Continuing the Q & A session.......

Last year was about £35k in total (originally £25 k and about £10 added later from improved surplus at BMC) .

This does not include the effect of the members joining (hence previous comments). My calcs / estimates take account of the lower youth / family rates. NB - the ycs is self funding (from Sport England), and actually produces a surplus.

NB - the YCS final is the biggest BMC participation event held, with over 1000 attendees.

For further details, please see the BMC website, its all on there......

Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Frank the Husky:

GrahamD is Bob Pettigrew, and I claim my £5........
1poundSOCKS - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Yes if you take part in BMC comps or get onto the team / development squad.

Given I'm 46 and struggle to get up 7a indoors, there did seem to be limited senior punter opportunities on the comp calendar.
wercat on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

anyone going on a route as a speed climber obviously would take preference and other parties shoud give way
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:
> Then maybe you shouldn't bring the subject of money up and vaguely suggest comp climbers are subsidising other members.

The OP did that; I just played devils advocate a little, and suggested that it may not be as black and white as it seems in terms of the direction of funding flows.

The BMC gets funds from all sorts of people; however we are all climbers. Those who choose to compartmentalise climbing into little, er, compartments should get out more. Or indoors if its wet......we are all climbers, and the BMC is there for us all.
Post edited at 16:35
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Given I'm 46 and struggle to get up 7a indoors, there did seem to be limited senior punter opportunities on the comp calendar.

And I suspect you may fall foul of the age cut off for the junior development squad........however, there is always the veteran category in the BLCC, which depressingly is usually won by a 50+ who can climb well into the 8's.........
Tyler - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Dont know, it would be very hard to calculate exactly. However, every year the YCS attracts approx 900 - 1000 competitors, and approx 50% are BMC members, benefitting from reduced entry costs. I suspect quite a few of those initially join purely for this reason (we did as a family many moons ago), and hopefully continue their membership as they either progress in the comp world, or broaden their climbing horizons into other areas (or both!).

> It might not be exactly 1800, but it may well not be far off...........

Is your 1800 break even point based on adult membership fee or U18?
GrahamD - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> You'll have to explain why you bring in UK Cycling to this - to me it is utterly irrelevant. The BMC exists to provide services to climbers, irrespective of their other activities.

Because hillwalking (outside) has a lot more in common with cycling (outside) and faces many of the same access issues compared with racing up a ladder in a gym. And yet despite this I don't think its sensible that outside hill users share a representative body with cyclists, or fell runners or whatever.
GrahamD - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> ......we are all climbers, and the BMC is there for us all.

I'm not even going to ask you to define what you mean by "we are all climbers", and what my brothers (who just love hill walking and a bit of scrambling) have in common in their needs from a representative body with people who just want to race up ladders in a gym.
keith-ratcliffe on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:
I was at my local wall a couple of months ago alongside a group of youngsters from the walls junior climbing club. I had previously judged at one of their informal lead/toprope climbing comps and it was fantastic to see their enthusiasm and support for each other in that event.
On the day in question they informally gathered around one climb on a self belay and did timed runs - again this really engaged them so I can see how speed climbing might have a place in encouraging youngsters to take part in the game we call climbing. So I am quite happy that it is part of the Olympics and that the BMC is embracing it as part of the 3 component events.
PS I may be nearing my three score and ten but I still managed to set the second fastest time of their day!
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

Bit of both. There will be some who join just at U18 rate, there will be some entire families who join at the full family rate. Its no more than a very rough estimate put out there to make some think a bit more about the variety of sources of income that BMC receives, and how we are a very broad church, and that an extremely small proportion of their subs goes to comps.

As in - BMC turnover = £2,897,000.
Comps subsidy = £35,000

percentage = 1.2%

Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
> I'm not even going to ask you to define what you mean by "we are all climbers", and what my brothers (who just love hill walking and a bit of scrambling) have in common in their needs from a representative body with people who just want to race up ladders in a gym.

Because you have missed the point entirely.

Bearing in mind I am heavily involved in comps, I dont know of ANYONE who just wants to just run up ladders in a gym. And in that I include the competitors in the world cup speed climbing event less than 2 weeks ago in Edinburgh.
Post edited at 17:03
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

From a different thread - why we are all climbers (with thanks to John Arran).

> The anarchic ethos was the joy.

It still is.

I loved that aspect of it when I started. Then later I loved the competitive element too. And sport climbing. And ice climbing. And adventure new routing. And Alpinism. And soloing. And bouldering. But I never really took to high-altitude peak-bagging, to aid climbing, to DWS or to dry tooling.

I love the fact that you can take whatever choices you like, or more usually whatever combination of choices you like, within our wonderfully diverse sport, and for the most part, nobody judges you for it.
Graeme Alderson on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

You should stop making assumptions about people. Most of the speed climbers I know (and I know lots of them) climb on routes and boulders as well, they just happened to be good at speed so they specialised.

Some examples:
Libor Hrozar (CZE) climbs route 8b
Julia Kaplina (RUS) came 9th on the 2nd Lead route in the University World Champs in 2016, she missed a clip on the 1st route so her results look very bad
Anouk Jaubert (FRA) was a junior French bouldering champion.
Marcin Dzienski (POL) boulders about Font 7b outside.
Offwidth - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I think its pretty tough to exclude speed climbers (where its almost impossible to imagine someone who would exclusively do that) when we include members involved in numerous other sub activities of climbing and mountain games. As for your other argument, personally if I were a mountainbiker worried about mountain access I'd join the BMC as they are actively successful in that area despite not representing the activity. I see the organisation as a positive thing in its own right, not a service organisation for what I do.
1poundSOCKS - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> however, there is always the veteran category in the BLCC, which depressingly is usually won by a 50+ who can climb well into the 8's.........

Don't all the events have a vets category? Can you enter anyway, does it just mean you'll be competing against the seniors?
GrahamD - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Because you have missed the point entirely.

As you have mine, apparently. You continue to view this from a perspective as a "climber" with a particular set of interests which are actually quite disparate interests (giving them an umbrella title of "climber" doesn't make them less disparate) rather than looking at where the overlap (if any) is between those interests and what is actually needed to facilitate, enable and, in some cases (but not all) promote those interests.

I'm not disputing the fact that people have multiple interests.
john arran - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Didn't we go through this exact same bollox last month? ... and the one before? ... and the one before that? Seems that way, at least. The outcome is always the same: a few determined folk such as yourself try to convince others that splitting up our governing body would be a good thing, with about as much convincing argument as Brexiteers. Most of the rest get bored after a short while and leave you to it.

I don't suppose this time will be much different.
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
Enter at your will!
There are completely separate routes for the vets, and at least the first route will be set to suit all ablilities (within reason.....).
And yes, the BLCC's is the only one to have a vets category - but we also have a vets category for the speed event.....
I think it would be good to think about one aat the BBC's. There isnt really a good reason not to, there are some particularly strong 45+ boulderers.....
Post edited at 18:15
1poundSOCKS - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

Thanks. I haven't entered a comp since I did a local comp at Climbing Barn in Crossflats that shut down years ago. Maybe I never will again, but was reading how Ondra uses them to improve, so more of a tool to push yourself, rather than any ability to win anything. Got me thinking anyway.

Would prefer lead to boulder, my body doesn't like hitting mats repeatedly, I hardly ever boulder hard indoors for that reason. Would be good if all lead comps had a vets category, would be more inclusive for us oldies.
ukb & bmc shark - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> As in - BMC turnover = £2,897,000.

> Comps subsidy = £35,000

> percentage = 1.2%

Sorry to intervene Ian but there is an implied element of double counting in your figures.

20% of the turnover is Sport England funding and a decent amount of that goes towards supporting comp climbing and the teams. I'm not sure if you are including all costs either.

The reason I mention this is that I think it should be more widely appreciated that Sport England funding has been withheld lately and even if re-continued will most likely be on a year on year decline going forward and so other methods to replace this lost funding, such as commercial sponsorship, will be required if we are to sustain current expenditure.

Simon Lee, BMC Commercial Partnerships Manager

Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> As you have mine, apparently. You continue to view this from a perspective as a "climber" with a particular set of interests which are actually quite disparate interests (giving them an umbrella title of "climber" doesn't make them less disparate) rather than looking at where the overlap (if any) is between those interests and what is actually needed to facilitate, enable and, in some cases (but not all) promote those interests.

> I'm not disputing the fact that people have multiple interests.

I make no apology or excuse for viewing this from a climbers perspective. This is a debate about climbing on a web forum called UKClimbing. And And I find it hard to view the interests of different types of climbers as disparate, because we ARE all just climbers. I dont regard types of climbing as disparate at all; there is a huge overlap, and I am confused as to why you should imply that i am compartmentalise types of climbing, as that is the exact opposite of what my posts have been about. Again, its all climbing. The same activity, with different forms. We go up things. Indoor ladders or outdoor scrambles.
If you are in Sheffield this weekend, we have the BLCC's and BSCC's on at Awesome Walls - come and have a look!
Fiend - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

If you can put some money aside to fund a campaign to get speed-climbing removed from the Olympics, that would be fantastic, as it's the biggest pile of wank I've ever seen in climbing broadcasting (unlike the lead and bouldering competitions which are ace).

Thanks
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

The figure I quoted is the amount given to the teams and the comporganisation element; as per the financial reports we get from BMC finance dept.
Maybe I should use the subs only income......but the effect would be very similar......and agree entirely re the Sport England funding, but that will affect way more than just the comps section.
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Fiend:

> If you can put some money aside to fund a campaign to get speed-climbing removed from the Olympics, that would be fantastic, as it's the biggest pile of wank I've ever seen in climbing broadcasting (unlike the lead and bouldering competitions which are ace).

> Thanks

If you are around in sheffield, I'll personally pay for your entry to the speed comp, if you promise to take it seriously.....
GrahamD - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

> Didn't we go through this exact same bollox last month? ... and the one before? ... and the one before that? Seems that way, at least. The outcome is always the same: a few determined folk such as yourself try to convince others that splitting up our governing body would be a good thing, with about as much convincing argument as Brexiteers. Most of the rest get bored after a short while and leave you to it.

> I don't suppose this time will be much different.

Yes. We did and it still comes down to the same trite answers from a self selecting group purporting to know what the majority of climbers want. The majority of climbers are actually hill walkers
john arran - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> The majority of climbers are actually hill walkers

That's pretty funny in light of the fact that one of the main objections to the Climb Britain name change was that it didn't represent hill walkers!
ukb & bmc shark - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> The figure I quoted is the amount given to the teams and the comporganisation element; as per the financial reports we get from BMC finance dept.

> Maybe I should use the subs only income......but the effect would be very similar......and agree entirely re the Sport England funding, but that will affect way more than just the comps section.


I think quoting £35K and 1.2% of turnover downplays the BMC's support of comp climbing. Apart from anything else there is a lot of effort to secure that funding for comps. If you take away the Sport England funding there is a financial hole to be filled so that represents a risk to reserves.
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

It doesnt. £35k is the amount the BMC financially contributed to comps. Agree that SE funding also plays a part, but that is income for specific projects agreed in advance. BMC support morally and organisationally is important, but financially has never been very good. The vast majority of comp / team activity comes from the competitors themselves.
GridNorth - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Are we funding any window cleaners, they are after all "climbers"

Al
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GridNorth:

No, their subs would go into funding all of the BMC's activities

P.s. I do know of one BMC member who was a window cleaner (sadly no longer with us).
drysori - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> It doesnt. £35k is the amount the BMC financially contributed to comps.

According to the BMC's 2015 Annual Report around £110k was spent on competitions when staffing and other costs are included.

JLS on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

I've been speed climbing for several weeks now and still haven't received my free case of Champagne from the BMC.
What's the problem? Are those grumpy old trad guys being tight fisted with their subs again?
Not withstanding, the caviar was excellent.
Many thanks.
J

P.S. Loving the new gold plated titanium bolts at Horseshoe.
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to drysori:

Indeed, but that is not the net contrib to comps and the team. I'm not actually sure how that £110k is arrived at. I will do so out of a sense of duty. And as chair of comps, and an accountant to boot, I really should know......
wbo - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD: i get the impression there's something wrong with me? I'm middle aged, been climbing 30 years, and still do a bit of sport, big of trad, bouldering, ice, skiing, bouldering, climb indoors a few times a week and God help me , the occasional indoor comp. I also go hillwalking, running and scrambling.

The one thing I don't do is whinge about what other people are doing. What am I missing?

Graeme Alderson on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

According to the BMC website Rob is Walls and Comps Officer ;-)

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-staff-list
Graeme Alderson on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to wbo:

> i get the impression there's something wrong with me? I'm middle aged, been climbing 30 years, and still do a bit of sport, big of trad, bouldering, ice, skiing, bouldering, climb indoors a few times a week and God help me , the occasional indoor comp. I also go hillwalking, running and scrambling.

> The one thing I don't do is whinge about what other people are doing. What am I missing?

Weirdo ;-)
Ian W - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

He is (still....just). Why do you mention him?

And before I forget, are you available for a chat soon (awesome walls this weekend?)
rj_townsend on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Am I alone in being surprised that nobody had yet called troll on this?
Robert Durran - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to rj_townsend:

> Am I alone in being surprised that nobody had yet called troll on this?

I'm sure it's not a troll.

Almost everyone I have spoken to thinks that speed climbing is a pile of shit and there is presumably a reason for this.

Yes, we are all climbers and climbing has rich history and is a broad church. And it evolves. Until speed climbing came along, I think that every new form of climbing had evolved from and had its roots in earlier forms of climbing which could ultimately be traced back to going up mountains. To climb mountains, we needed to climb rocks, and rock climbing evolved into sport climbing and training for rock climbing spawned indoor climbing and bouldering and these spawned competitions. Indoor speed climbing is an anomaly in that it has only ever existed in it's competition form; it is possibly the final straw which will break the tenuous chain that binds all other climbers together. I suspect this is why so many of us see it as a step too far for the great umbrella of climbing; why it is just bollocks.

As an earlier poster in this this thread said to to me at the weekend: "I'd rather watch a dead hanging competition". I agree - at least it is relevant as are bouldering and indoor climbing to other forms of climbing and so a form of climbing itself which can be related to.
Tomtom - on 04 Oct 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYbwZQ-QnMY
Dan osman, speed free solo

Speed climbing isn't related to climbing? So what are they doing, kayaking?

End of the day, non climbers aren't gonna be over interested in boulder comps, and even less so in lead I imagine. Speed however is attractive to the uninitiated, and will no doubt cause a surge in climbing around 2020. More climbers may have it's advantages and disadvantages, but it could well mean more bmc subs coming in, and therefore more funding for your bloody hill walking, which apparently should be the prime and sole focus of the bmc.
Hugh Mongous - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> We did and it still comes down to the same trite answers from a self selecting group purporting to know what the majority of climbers want.

Why don't you stop doing it then?

Robert Durran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Tomtom:

> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYbwZQ-QnMY
> Dan osman, speed free solo
> Speed climbing isn't related to climbing?

I would argue that the link between what Dan Osman is doing (basically a head game) has at best only a very tenuous connection to competition speed clim,bing which is entirely physical.

Anyway, I was just trying to put my finger on why speed climbing seems to be widely regarded as a complete joke in a different league to any other form of climbing. Do you have any alternative ideas?
Jon Greengrass on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

The BMC want more money and more power it is human nature. The BMC should never have taken competition climbing under their umbrella. I think there should be a separation as there is in cycling between the governing body of a sport, which will often receive money from the Government, and the representative body which will support and lobby for its members interests
john arran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I would argue that the link between what Dan Osman is doing (basically a head game) has at best only a very tenuous connection to competition speed clim,bing which is entirely physical.

No less tenuous a connection than bold trad leading (basically a head game) is to competition sport climbing, which is entirely physical.

> Anyway, I was just trying to put my finger on why speed climbing seems to be widely regarded as a complete joke in a different league to any other form of climbing. Do you have any alternative ideas?

Tradition. In the UK there's no tradition of speed being an intrinsic yardstick of success in assessing climbing achievements; at best it would be a contributory factor in Alpine ascents. In other countries - notably former Soviet states and more recently Asian countries - speed has been one of the integral goals of the game for much of the history of the sport in those countries.

In the UK we have a very polarised view of speed climbing based on our own tradition, or more accurately lack of tradition. In essence, we quickly dismiss that which is not part of our perceived heritage.

1poundSOCKS - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Tomtom:

> but it could well mean more bmc subs coming in, and therefore more funding for your bloody hill walking

It could just mean more money is spent on the comp side of things.
James Mann - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

An interesting point and one which I thought I agreed with until I started to think about speed ascents in the alps especially. Profit, Escoffier, Boivin, Renault, Loretan and more recently, the Eiger record being beaten over and over. This is speed climbing, if on a grander scale.

This doesn’t mean it should have Olympic inclusion, just that I can see a historical pathway for it. Doing routes quickly has always been a measure of alpine competence due to the limited amount of time exposed to objective danger and this is the micro form of that as bouldering is to roped climbing.

I do have misgivings about the Olympics. It is a long way from the climbing that I participate in. I worry that for many people this kind of climbing, devoid of adventure will be the only brand of climbing publicly on offer.

On the other hand, it may increase participation and those who enter climbing through the indoors will find the wider world of climbing might be more physically able to climb more outrageous things on both British crags and beyond.

I suppose only time will tell.

James
Howard J - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

It seems to be regarded as a complete joke by British climbers, but it has been popular in other countries for decades. British climbing seems to have its own perspective on everything, notably our emphasis on trad and continued suspicion of sport climbing.

For myself, I have no interest in competitions and even less in speed climbing. However I can see that they are part of the world of climbing and that as such it is natural that the BMC is involved. I'm not interested in bouldering or sport either, for that matter. I'm happy that the BMC supports all aspects of climbing and mountaineering, not just the sub-set that I'm interested in.
GrahamD - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to wbo:


> The one thing I don't do is whinge about what other people are doing. What am I missing?

Who's whinging ? I just fundamentally disagree with putting two highly disparate activities with totally different requirements and potentially different revenue opportunities under a single organisation. Thats the point of discussion forums isn't it ? to discuss these things and hopefully rise above petty name calling with people with whom you personally disagree.
GrahamD - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Hugh Mongous:

> Why don't you stop doing it then?

For the same reason the Brexit debate rumbles on, I suppose. We have an interest in "climbing" in its disparate forms and want to see it best looked after.

Its totally unclear to me why an answer of someone does (x and y) therefore there needs to be an umbrella organisation for (x and y) even though x and y have totally different requirements in terms of their requirements.
GrahamD - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Tomtom:


> Speed climbing isn't related to climbing? So what are they doing, kayaking?

> ....... and therefore more funding for your bloody hill walking,

Hill walking isn't related to climbing ? what are they doing, kayaking ?

Hill walking and outdoor climbing (in all guises) - and kayaking and mountain biking for that matter - all share a common challenge which is preservation of access and conservation of natural resources. Insurance maybe.

That is totally different from the remit of any sports governing body.



GrahamD - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to James Mann:

> On the other hand, it may increase participation and those who enter climbing through the indoors will find the wider world of climbing might be more physically able to climb more outrageous things on both British crags and beyond.

It may well do which can only be a good thing. It doesn't explain why the two activities have to happen under the auspices of one representative (or is it governing ? or both ?) organisation.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Almost everyone I have spoken to thinks that speed climbing is a pile of shit and there is presumably a reason for this.

Most people don't have access to a fully equipped speed wall. It's not just the speed wall itself but also the speed autobelays and timing. The speed wall at Ratho is massively more fun since they installed the 'proper' autobelays for the world cup, they take in really fast and you can go as fast as you like without worrying about a jarring catch if you come off or your belayer not keeping up. If they had timing on it outside of competitions and a 'high score' list it would be even more fun and I bet a lot of people would start having a run on the speed wall as part of their session.

Yes, it's more like running than climbing in many ways but lots of people like running and jumping about between holds as fast as you can without worrying about falling off is good fun and probably not bad training for strength and dynamic climbing.

NB: I'm not trying to argue that speed should have the same status as bouldering or lead or in favour of the triathlon format, or that the present route with 5 second times is optimal just that it is actually quite fun.



1poundSOCKS - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> Its totally unclear to me why an answer of someone does (x and y) therefore there needs to be an umbrella organisation for (x and y) even though x and y have totally different requirements in terms of their requirements.

I do see what you're saying Graham, I think there are reasonable points for and against separate organisations, and I don't see any reason it can't be discussed. Maybe some people want to shut the discussion down, accuse you of whinging and the like.

For me, the main reason why comp climbing is different is it seems to be fundamentally quite elitist, or at least in future it will become more like that. When British comp climbers enter the Olympics, there will obviously be the chase for medals, government funding and the like. This will be targeted towards the best competitors. Which seems very different to an egalitarian community where all climbers are treated equally, which is the type of representative body I'd like to be part of.

And with government funding comes outside interference. We've seen it already with the Climb Britain rebrand. It was great to see the BMC chose to represent it's members interests in the end. But it would be naive to say that the BMC is immune to corruption, none of us are.

Obviously there are arguments to be made for a single representative body also.
Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Bloody hell, Tom, you tried it and found it fun! Careful there, youth, you'll be causing severe discomfort amongst some on this thread.......
john arran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I promised myself I wouldn't get into this as I don't have time, but you've asked this before and I don't think you've ever received a convincing answer, so I'll afford you the respect of explaining. I hope you won't start reducing this to nitty gritty, relatively trivial practical points and miss the bigger picture, as I will have neither the time nor the inclination to respond in that case.

> Its totally unclear to me why an answer of someone does (x and y) therefore there needs to be an umbrella organisation for (x and y) even though x and y have totally different requirements in terms of their requirements.

The most obvious overlap is facilities, both, artificial indoor ones and natural/quarried outdoor ones. Currently, ensuring the availability, provision and nature of these facilities is one of the primary roles of a unified BMC. This doesn't mean it actually manages indoor provision, but if this became unsuitable for climbers in general it would no doubt play a bigger role, as it used to, and as it increasingly does for outdoor, BMC-owned crags. A unified organisation is far better placed to represent and harmonise the shared interests of all of its user groups, as seen currently with bolting agreements around the country, than would be the case were individual components of the sport to be encouraged or left to evolve into having more narrow minded interests, which ultimately would give far greater potential for conflict. Nobody wants to see damaging infighting like in darts - not that there are many similarities, but the principle is the same.

But there are other overlaps too, such as ensuring a balanced representation of our sport in the media, and ensuring balanced and responsible discussions with government and other national bodies to make sure one element of the sport is not unfairly benefiting or losing out by having more effective presence and communication with those bodies.

It's very much like the Brexit debate in microcosm: Are we better off recognising shared interests, respecting minority interests, and working together to agree and implement our programmes, or would we be better off going it alone and trusting that we will somehow 'win out' in perceived competition against those with which we might feel we have less in common (even though, as with Brexit, it would appear that huge numbers of people don't feel that way to any meaningful extent)?
Jon Greengrass on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

except the BMC became compromised the day it accepted Government funding from UKsport.
Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

> except the BMC became compromised the day it accepted Government funding from UKsport.

Here we go again.

You mean Sport England. UK Sport have never funded the BMC.

SE funding was obtained to run various programs that the BMC felt would be of benefit to it membership. Details are all available via www.thebmc.co.uk, or from the bmc office. There are no hoops to jump through, beyond the (tortuous) application process, and the requirement to actually evidence that you have run the programs you said you would.

Robert Durran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to James Mann:

> An interesting point and one which I thought I agreed with until I started to think about speed ascents in the alps especially. Profit, Escoffier, Boivin, Renault, Loretan and more recently, the Eiger record being beaten over and over. This is speed climbing, if on a grander scale.

Apart from the use of the word speed, I can't see any connection or even train of connections between them.

On the other hand there is a clear train of connections between all rock climbing and indoor bouldering competitions; people boulder as training for all types of climbing but nobody is doing indoor speed climbing as training for anything other than itself as far a I can see.

summo on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

Would agree. The BMC could split. Access and crag ownership, indoor walls and comps, qualifications and safety issues... but then people would complain that it's inefficient due to the cross over of fields and how they'd benefit from shared resources, staff and funding.

Ps. I still think speed climbing is selling the soul of climbing to please the IOC, who are the kind of governing body every down to earth climber should despise.
Jon Greengrass on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> You mean Sport England. UK Sport have never funded the BMC.

same difference, its public/government money
Robert Durran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Most people don't have access to a fully equipped speed wall. It's not just the speed wall itself but also the speed autobelays and timing. The speed wall at Ratho is massively more fun since they installed the 'proper' autobelays for the world cup.

It certainly seems massively more popular, but almost entirely among the legions of "wall-bred" kids. I've got nothing at all against the kids and am really inspired to see them climbing so hard indoors, especially when I hear of them transferring their skill outdoors, but, while I have nothing against "fun" as such, I just can't see the speed climbing as anything other than a climbing dead end (unless you see the Olympics as an end in itself); as I said, I fear that speed climbing may force the divorce between competitions and other forms of climbing.
GrahamD - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

Hi John, many thanks for taking the time to put forward your reasoning. At heart this debate is not about debating what facet of climbing is more or less worthy than others - its about the best way to look after and facilitate all facets.

I think you and I continue to view the partioning of interests in a different way. I think from your post you view sport climbing (as in outdoor bolted climbing) in the same category as competition climbing whereas I'd see the challenges for bolted outdoor climbing being exactly aligned with the challenges of all branches of outdoor climbing (access etc.) and which require a representative rather than a governing body (old skool BMC if you will). The requirements for wall access and competitions are entirely different, I think (even though some/many people do both things).

Where I do see the argument for a common approach is in media representation but on that front I'm yet to be convinced any of us can agree on what constitutes a 'climber' (bearing in mind the current BMC mission statement explicitly includes hillwalking and ski mountaineering - defacto making hill walkers 'climbers') - let alone represent a unified view of 'climbing' to 'non climbers' !

Watch this space, I guess. The Olympics will certainly focus minds on the efficacy of the current system.
winhill - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Here we go again.

> You mean Sport England. UK Sport have never funded the BMC.

Although they will announce their Olympic funding for climbing in a few weeks.

Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Would agree. The BMC could split. Access and crag ownership, indoor walls and comps, qualifications and safety issues... but then people would complain that it's inefficient due to the cross over of fields and how they'd benefit from shared resources, staff and funding.

> Ps. I still think speed climbing is selling the soul of climbing to please the IOC, who are the kind of governing body every down to earth climber should despise.

You apportion much more importance to speed climbing than the vast majority of people, which is odd. Why are you so afraid of it and its influence, given that it has been extremely popular for decades in many other countries with significant "real climbing" heritage, and has not had any detrimental influence to other elements of climbing in those countries?
john arran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Thank you for your considered response, much of which I agree with. Just one point of correction:

> I think from your post you view sport climbing (as in outdoor bolted climbing) in the same category as competition climbing whereas I'd see the challenges for bolted outdoor climbing being exactly aligned with the challenges of all branches of outdoor climbing (access etc.) and which require a representative rather than a governing body (old skool BMC if you will). The requirements for wall access and competitions are entirely different, I think (even though some/many people do both things).

My perspective is not one of categorisation into discrete disciplines or activities, rather to recognise an unbroken continuum (albeit with some important and necessary distinctions at various key points, and not just at the point of formal competition) in the spectrum of participation we call climbing.
summo on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> You apportion much more importance to speed climbing than the vast majority of people, which is odd. Why are you so afraid of it and its influence, given that it has been extremely popular for decades in many other countries with significant "real climbing" heritage, and has not had any detrimental influence to other elements of climbing in those countries?

I realise that there are many other fabricate sports in the Olympics, but personally feel the Olympics should be about competing in the sport in the form it's generally always existed, rather than modifying it hugely. Although I do like the ski cross races so perhaps I'm being a little hypocritical!
winhill - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

> The most obvious overlap is facilities, both, artificial indoor ones and natural/quarried outdoor ones. Currently, ensuring the availability, provision and nature of these facilities is one of the primary roles of a unified BMC.

Surely the limited role the BMC had, has been replaced by the ABC now?

One wall owner of 20 years standing told me he hadn't been a member of the BMC for years) despite in the old days having put up a few FAs) and his wall hadn't joined the ABC but the wall was built before the BMC was doing much indoors.

The rise in the number of bouldering walls probably means even less involvement for the BMC and although some people use the number of walls holding their own competitions as evidence of a growth in competition climbing, the vast majority of those climbers are punters and even less likely to join the BMC.

So if you include those climbers as Competition Climbers, the BMC isn't representing a majority of competition climbers, just the Elite.
Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> I realise that there are many other fabricate sports in the Olympics, but personally feel the Olympics should be about competing in the sport in the form it's generally always existed, rather than modifying it hugely. Although I do like the ski cross races so perhaps I'm being a little hypocritical!

So you'd prefer comps held on natural crags rather than artificial structures............. ;)

No, dont answer that......

john arran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

You misunderstood, I think. The BMC will represent climbers and pursue avenues where it perceives a gap that ought to be filled. That used to be the case with climbing walls, but gradually the provision grew in number and in quality so the gap shrunk to the point where there was little meaningful work needing to be done. It was an advantage that the interests of the ABC were closely aligned with those of the BMC, and therefore the ABC was perhaps a more appropriate and effective body to achieve the common goals. If those goals start to diverge, I would expect the BMC once again to play a greater role in helping to ensure indoor climbing and training provision suitable for climbers.

The BMC is representing all climbers in ensuring that, where climbers' interests are not currently being met, programs are put in place to address and resolve the problems observed. The ABC is representing its members, not representing climbers, but since the two outcomes currently are so well aligned there's little point in the BMC wasting resources in duplicating work which is currently already being done and which achieves the objectives of the BMC in ensuring appropriate facilities for climbers.
summo on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> So you'd prefer comps held on natural crags rather than artificial structures............. ;)
> No, dont answer that......

Oh I will. If the Olympic final for gold in long sports route had say 50 competitors, why not find a some top end bolted sports routes in that host nation? They draw lots for a start place... It does bring in variables such as weather though, plus the only way can separate those who top out is by how fast they climbed it... bugger.
Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:
> The BMC is representing all climbers in ensuring that, where climbers' interests are not currently being met, programs are put in place to address and resolve the problems observed. The ABC is representing its members, not representing climbers, but since the two outcomes currently are so well aligned there's little point in the BMC wasting resources in duplicating work which is currently already being done and which achieves the objectives of the BMC in ensuring appropriate facilities for climbers.

And further; the BMC and ABC do work together; the chair of the ABC has an observer place on National Council, and the BMC has representation of the ABC board / council, so there are communication channels between the two.
Post edited at 12:10
Graeme Alderson on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

Actually the BMC used to get money from UK Sport for 2 things.

They used to get funding fr the team back in the 90's, Roger Payne somehow got this sorted with the help of Chris Smith, now Lord Smith, when he was Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport.

The BMC also had funding for International Representation, which covered things such as attending UIAA or UIAA-ICC meetings. I think this dried up around 2005.
Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Did they now. Was that before / after the UK Sport / Sport England formation? I must admit I thought SE / UKS had been around longer than that as separate organisations.
Graeme Alderson on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

Well Chris Smith was Labour so that dates it to 1997 at the earliest which by chance is the date of the formation of UKS and SE.

I don't know when the Int Reps grant started but it was in existence when I worked at the BC (2000-2007).
baron - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

Didn't competitions take place outdoors before the advent of suitable indoor walls?
I believe there was even one at Malham.
Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Just googled; seems a bit vague, but the Sports Council was wound up at the end of 1996, with SE and UKS starting in early 1997. It took a few years to get sorted properly, and it seems that the elite funding / grassroots funding split happened around 2001 / 2002.
Too many articles to trawl through to find out exactly in the confines of lunchtime, but that seems to be about hen it happened.
Graeme Alderson on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

Comps on the continent used to be outside. The one at Malham never happened but there was one at Crookrise.
john arran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

There was already a division between the English Sports Council and the Sports Council of Great Britain prior to 96/97 when they were both replaced, but I don't recall how the responsibilities were divided compared to how it was done later with Sport England and UK Sport.

And international attendance funding was already in place, as far as I can recall, when I joined the BMC staff in 1996, and probably had been in place for many years already as it didn't seem anything new.
AlanLittle - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

Lead competitions are supposed to be onsight. What are the chances of finding a top end sport route any country that Adam Ondra hasn’t already done?
L Coolmax - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

Outside of Britain considerable investment is being made to develop facilities and methods in order to select and train competition climbers to succeed on the Olympic stage, but in Britain, while best efforts are being made by a dedicated few they are being hampered by the lack of funding and support because the governing body, the BMC, is locked in a schizophrenic battle because climbing in Britain has such strong traditional roots and an anti-competition ethos. The BMC is never going to be able to reconcile this to allow it to provide the sort of funding and support that UK competition climbing needs to be successful at the Olympics, both in Japan and more importantly in the longer term.

Competition climbing in Britain is a bit like a teenager with the BMC being the parent, and its time for the parent to let the teenager free to develop their own life. The BMC should help set up a new independent governing body for competition climbing. Such a body could raise funds, develop the teams and be totally focussed on competitions, instead of continuing to be a fringe activity of the BMC.
john arran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:

It's for their own good, Believe me, I'd love nothing more than that we had a broad church in which all parts of our sporting activity can prosper. We'll be heartbroken to see them go, but we recognise that they will never be truly happy unless we do. And their happiness is what's most important to us.

What a load of bollox.
Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:
> Outside of Britain considerable investment is being made to develop facilities and methods in order to select and train competition climbers to succeed on the Olympic stage, but in Britain, while best efforts are being made by a dedicated few they are being hampered by the lack of funding and support because the governing body, the BMC, is locked in a schizophrenic battle because climbing in Britain has such strong traditional roots and an anti-competition ethos. The BMC is never going to be able to reconcile this to allow it to provide the sort of funding and support that UK competition climbing needs to be successful at the Olympics, both in Japan and more importantly in the longer term.

> Competition climbing in Britain is a bit like a teenager with the BMC being the parent, and its time for the parent to let the teenager free to develop their own life. The BMC should help set up a new independent governing body for competition climbing. Such a body could raise funds, develop the teams and be totally focussed on competitions, instead of continuing to be a fringe activity of the BMC.

Comp climbing is a core activity of the BMC. They have a full time comps officer, a place on national council alongside all the other specialist committees.
As posted previously, the biggest single event the BMC runs is a climbing comp.
Hardly a fringe activity.

I do recognise some of the points in your first paragraph - i am continually amazed by people who are prepared to put effort into stopping others from doing what they want, rather than just let them get on with it.
Post edited at 19:09
L Coolmax - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

Be realistic, whether its £35k plus a full time officer and some dedicated volunteers, or £110k all in, its nowhere near enough to get Olympic medals.

Sticking with the BMC route is the classic British approach leading to heroic failure. It may work occasionally when an exceptional talent comes along, but unless you put considerable investment into identifying and developing up and coming talent it won't be sustained.

The successful Olympic disciplines have recognised the level of investment and commitment needed to win Olympic medals and the BMC will never be able to deliver this.
summo on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

> Lead competitions are supposed to be onsight. What are the chances of finding a top end sport route any country that Adam Ondra hasn’t already done?

3 pebble slab? ;)

Yes I know it is not sport. I wasn't being serious about outdoor comps either.
Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:

Which is why UK Sport get involved in Elite funding, although thats a bit of a minefield as well........

We have looked at a separated model (and a halfway house), and its not appropriate at the present time. Many reasons, but now would not be right.
L Coolmax - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

UK Sport only invest in sports with credible medal potential and as much as we would all like to see GB winning a climbing medal at the Olympics it's unlikely. So the BMC would have to raise some serious money specifically to fund competition climbing and that would be toxic for the BMC.



Robert Durran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Comp climbing is a core activity of the BMC. They have a full time comps officer, a place on national council alongside all the other specialist committees. As posted previously, the biggest single event the BMC runs is a climbing comp.

You are using that as an argument for keeping competition climbing within the BMC. I think it could just as well be used as an argument for separation.
Ian W - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
You are right, it could be. Various scenarios / reasons have been looked at, I've talked to other interested parties, from other federations' to the IFSC' to coaches, to competitors etc etc and the general conclusion was that this is not a good time, for many reasons, to separate.
For me, the main reason is momentum. Breaking away would require time for the rebellious teenager to find their feet in the big bad world. We dont have the luxury of time, we really dont want to stall the progress comp climbing has at the moment, not least for the athletes, who are the one busting their butts to produce ever better performances. They are the most important element for me.
Post edited at 22:21
fred99 - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> ....the athletes, who are the one busting their butts to produce ever better performances. They are the most important element for me.

So you do admit that competition climbers ARE the most important element for you.
The question is, do the rest of us come a close second, or do we not even feature on your list of priorities.
Chris the Tall - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to fred99:

He is chair of the comps committee - what do you think his main priority should be ?
Ian W - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to fred99:
> So you do admit that competition climbers ARE the most important element for you.

Well spotted, go straight to the top of the class.

> The question is, do the rest of us come a close second, or do we not even feature on your list of priorities.

How it works;
The BMC has several specialist committees, whose responsibility it is to represent their particular corner within the BMC; at National Council, with outside agencies, and to answer to exec for such things as expenditure etc. As comp chair, whilst aware of all the other areas of operation of the bmc, I represent competition climbing, the Team Athletes being a major, major part of that. Other areas (the "rest of you" have similar representation on National Council, with their priority being clubs, huts, training, access, land management etc etc It is up to the chair of each of those committees to represent and prioritise their particular sphere of operations. National council then takes all or requests / concerns / issues etc etc and chooses which combination of resources to allocate to each activity.
Each of us therefore has only one priority, safe and happy in the knowledge that others are prioritising our other areas of interest in the broad church that is climbing.

If you didnt know the above, happy to help. If you did, why ask the question..........

PS - none of the dislikes were me.
Post edited at 13:29
AlanLittle - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

One of the dislikes was me, on the basis that the use of the term "admit" makes the question (and, quite frankly, this whole thread) look to me more like malicious shit-stirring than honest information seeking. And malicious shit-stirring is something the BMC and its officials have had already more than enough of this year.
Ian W - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

Yes, i'm not sure what there was to admit to given that I had explicitly stated my position and he requoted me verbatim. He's got previous on trolling / double standards / being a dick, so I'm not sure anyone takes him seriously anyway, and hence my somewhat sarky response.

Ian W - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:

> UK Sport only invest in sports with credible medal potential and as much as we would all like to see GB winning a climbing medal at the Olympics it's unlikely. So the BMC would have to raise some serious money specifically to fund competition climbing and that would be toxic for the BMC.

Why would it be toxic? Yes it would cost a significant sum to fund it properly, but i dont really see why it would be seen as toxic.
Anyway, Simon Lee is on the commercial partnership case as we speak......
ukb & bmc shark - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Anyway, Simon Lee is on the commercial partnership case as we speak......


This is true

L Coolmax - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

Toxic because although Bob’s MoNC failed through poor execution the underlying concerns particularly around the BMC’s move towards competition climbing remain and are shared by more than the 300 or so who voted for the motion.
I hope Simon Lee’s efforts are successful as I think that if the BMC tries to channel more of the members’ subs into competition climbing we will see another member uprising.
john arran - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:

> Bob’s MoNC failed through poor execution

Well now I've heard everything!
Si dH - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:
> I hope Simon Lee’s efforts are successful as I think that if the BMC tries to channel more of the members’ subs into competition climbing we will see another member uprising.

If that is really the concern, then it would be nice to see people suggesting things that they think should receive BMC funding but currently don't, rather than just moaning about things they don't like that do receive funding. A lot of posts on these topics seem like nothing more than old guys shouting at the world because it no longer reflects their personal outlook on life. The whole subject makes me tired.
Post edited at 21:45
In reply to Coolmax:
Yep, there are few things more toxic in this world than seeing people having fun, enjoying themselves whilst climbing; be that indoors, outdoors, competing with others, or challenging themselves...

Whilst there were 300 votes in favour of Bob's motion, it's most likely 299 of these people didn't know what they were voting for (other than a more generalised statement of disatisfaction with the BMC as a whole) - I'm not even sure Bob knew until he stood up and said his piece at the AGM!

Dare I say it, but I find your complete lack of empathy and appreciation far more toxic. Just because you don't personally partake in a given discipline doesn't mean it's worthless.
Post edited at 21:45
winhill - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

> You misunderstood, I think. The BMC will represent climbers and pursue avenues where it perceives a gap that ought to be filled.

No, I understood, I just didn't agree that it was 'currently' under the BMCs remit, and the verbiage there seems to suggest you've acknowledged that.

Much clearer just to say the BMC has changed rather than insist it hasn't though.

> Currently, ensuring the availability, provision and nature of these facilities is one of the primary roles of a unified BMC.

This was not ever really a primary role of the BMC, early walls, like the one in my example, showing the BMC the way rather than the other way round.

Then it was the market not the BMC that enabled availability and provision.
Robert Durran - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Dare I say it, but I find your complete lack of empathy and appreciation far more toxic. Just because you don't personally partake in a given discipline doesn't mean it's worthless.

Dare I say it, but I think you are missing the point. Nobody is saying competition climbing is worthless. Well, maybe speed climbing, but the reason many people dislike that is probably mostly because it's inclusion in the Olympic format undermines the other two competition disciplines which many of the same people really do like - otherwise we could just ignore it. It is just a matter of whether compettition climbing should come under the BMC umbrella. Coolmax simply said originally said that the BMC raising a large amount of money to support a competition team would be toxic. And I think I agree - not because there's anything wrong with having a properly funded team, but because there would inevitably be the suspicion that the money might otherwise have gone to other good work that the BMC does - it would have to be completely transparent that this were not the case; that the funding was all new money. And I think the argument is that perhaps the best way to avoid such doubts would be for competitions to have their own organisiation.

john arran - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> it would have to be completely transparent that this were not the case; that the funding was all new money

And if it turned out that it was indeed completely transparent, and well managed in conjunction with managing the other BMC programmes? Would that be a) fantastic; b) grudgingly tolerable; or c) still a problem because you'd find another justification for your objection to something that, despite others enjoying it and calling it climbing too, doesn't fit with your own blinkered definition of what you personally enjoy in climbing?
Robert Durran - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

> And if it turned out that it was indeed completely transparent, and well managed in conjunction with managing the other BMC programmes? Would that be a) fantastic; b) grudgingly tolerable; or c) still a problem because you'd find another justification for your objection to something that, despite others enjoying it and calling it climbing too, doesn't fit with your own blinkered definition of what you personally enjoy in climbing?

I think it would be fantastic. I have no objection to competition climbing or to people enjoying it (despite your implication to the contrary). I've enjoyed taking part in competitions myself and may do so again in the future.
In reply to Robert Durran:

Hmm, yes - bit of a late night post that one (i.e. comment first, read the background story late). I think I got unduly focussed on the word 'toxic'... Coolmax, please accept my apologies.

My sentiments still stand about the 300 voters mind you, plus I'm inclined to agree with John that we are - without wishing to sound to Cameron-esq - 'better together' as comp climbers, trad climbers, sport climbers, boulderers, hillwalkers, mountaineers, and whatever other styles crop up in between the time I write this and the time I click submit.
john arran - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I think it would be fantastic. I have no objection to competition climbing or to people enjoying it (despite your implication to the contrary). I've enjoyed taking part in competitions myself and may do so again in the future.

Well that's great, Robert. Let's focus on making this "fantastic" thing happen then, and working to ensure transparency. Sounds like a much better and much simpler option than any split, which IMO would most likely fall well short of fantastic - especially for traditional climbing disciplines.
ukb & bmc shark - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:

> I hope Simon Lee’s efforts are successful as I think that if the BMC tries to channel more of the members’ subs into competition climbing we will see another member uprising.

No pressure then... ;-)
1poundSOCKS - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

> would most likely fall well short of fantastic - especially for traditional climbing disciplines.

Out of interest, what would be the consquences for them if comp climbing split? I presume you mean outdoor climbing.
winhill - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

> I hope Simon Lee’s efforts are successful as I think that if the BMC tries to channel more of the members’ subs into competition climbing we will see another member uprising.

> No pressure then... ;-)

I thought it looked like a poisoned chalice from the start, if successful hated by people who see it as the commercialisation of the BMC , if unsuccessful, hated by people who wanted more money into the BMC and the sack as well!

If you achieve mid table mediocrity, then neither liked nor hated by anyone, a bit like Sheffield Wednesday.
ukb & bmc shark - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

I'll settle for being hated and successful then. Presumably Man U as was, not that I know anything about the ugly game
stp - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Coolmax:

> I think that if the BMC tries to channel more of the members’ subs into competition climbing we will see another member uprising.

I sure I'm not the only who thinks the British team should get more support. Currently I think they get very little in the way of expenses and doing the competiton circuit. We also have some very talented climbers on the team now. It would be great to seeing them do well but as saying goes: you gotta be in it to win it and currently the team aren't making it to enough comps to gain the valuable experience they need.

1poundSOCKS - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to stp:

> I sure I'm not the only who thinks the British team should get more support. Currently I think they get very little in the way of expenses and doing the competiton circuit.

I think if you want successful British competitors, then they'll need to be funded more in future. But it has to be balanced against what the members want overall. If the vast majority want to support them, it would be fair to use more subs to support them, but if the vast majority pay subs to the BMC to support their outdoor climbing, then I don't think it's fair to use their contributions for that.

By the same token, it wouldn't be fair to take money from comp only climbers and use it for access. A balance needs to be found, and with a certain amount of cross over, some will do comps and climb outdoors, I would guess it's hard to find that balance.

Maybe in future the comp climbing side can be successful by bringing in commercial sponsorship and government funding due to the Olympics.
stp - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I can't help but think you're levelling your complaint at the wrong body here.

The only reason I can see that there's any interest in speed at all is because of the combined format for the Olympic games. This wasn't something the BMC had anything to do with. That hugely unpopular decision was made by the shadowy and undemocractic IFSC, one of a growing long line of unpopular bad decisions made by that organisation, or should I say person?

It's easy to have a go at the BMC for the simple reason that they're open and will respond as they have done here. If you made complaints about the IFSC they won't respond at all, they're not interested in what you, climbers or anyone thinks. The only decision they backed down on was the paywall fiasco and that was because they were forced to do so by direct action by the athletes refusing all interviews for paywall TV.

I'm not sure how much money goes into speed climbing in Britain. I know someone who trained for a year as part of the team but then didn't even enter a single comp because there was no funding. There is also the cost of the special walls required for training. Again the decision to adopt that daft format was nothing to do with the BMC, it's down to the IFSC and it's something that affects all of us.
paul mitchell - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

yep,comp climbers should have their own representative body.Will they get round to it?
Graeme Alderson on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

You ain't no ManU, or even a Wednesday. I'd say more like Chesterfield ;-)
danm on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Or, God forbid, Scumderland!
Rob Parsons on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to stp:
> The only reason I can see that there's any interest in speed at all is because of the combined format for the Olympic games. This wasn't something the BMC had anything to do with.

The BMC are/were certainly associated with it.

From https://www.thebmc.co.uk/sport-climbing-olympic-games :

"Climbing will now be added to the roster for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, and GB Climbing Team athletes will be gearing up to vie for the honour of representing Britain at this prestigious event.

"This announcement is the much-anticipated culmination of a concerted campaign for Olympic inclusion headed by the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) and backed by a host of organisations, including the BMC and Mountaineering Scotland."

And again back in 2013:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/chris-bonington-backs-olympic-bid-as-decision-day-draws-near

"Dave Turnbull, BMC chief executive officer said:

"“The BMC is fully behind the bid to see climbing in the 2020 Olympics. The GB Climbing Team is going from strength to strength and includes world class athletes who are reaching the podiums. The proposed Olympic triathlon event of three climbing disciplines would be impressive to watch and embodies the Olympic motto perfectly: Faster – speed climbing; Higher – lead climbing; Stronger – bouldering. This week is absolutely crucial for climbing’s bid as we wait to hear whether climbing makes the final three.”"
Post edited at 15:56
Floquet on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Well, maybe speed climbing, but the reason many people dislike that is probably mostly because it's inclusion in the Olympic format undermines the other two competition disciplines which many of the same people really do like

How does it do this exactly?

RupertD - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The BMC are/were certainly associated with it.

The BMC have supported the inclusion of climbing in the olympics but the decision to include speed was nothing to do with the BMC. It was, as far as I know, mandated by the IOC. None of those links suggest otherwise.

On another thread Graeme Alderson said this about the decision making process to include speed and who made it:

"What you are not mentioning is that the IOC said that the IFSC can have a choice of either 1, 2 or 3 disciplines but only 1 good medal so some kind of combination event was mandatory if the choice was 2 or 3. They also said that if the IFSC said 1 discipline then the IOC would choose which one and guess which one they would have picked? Yes, speed. If it was 2 disciplines then the IFSC would have been the choice of L+S or B+S but not L+B. Given this information do you think the IFSC made the right decision?"
Robert Durran - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Floquet:

> How does it do this exactly?

By probably deterring some of the best lead climbers and boulderers from taking part in the Olympics and, if they do take part, diminishing their chances of a medal.
Si dH - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
> By probably deterring some of the best lead climbers and boulderers from taking part in the Olympics and, if they do take part, diminishing their chances of a medal.

I don't really agree with this. They are all starting from the same point. Those who are best at lead and bouldering now have just as good an opportunity to train speed for the next few years as those who are less good. The current speed specialists won't stand a chance unless they are already also very good lead/boulderers and can train to get better still, in which case good on them. I bet you the Olympic champion is also someone who regularly makes ifsc world cup finals for either lead or boulder (maybe both) in either the year before or the year after.

Edit: and everyone I've heard interviewed about whether they will enter has basically said "I don't agree with speed being there but I'll enter anyway and I'll do some training for it" including Ondra, who I noticed you had mentioned higher up (and who if we ran the Olympics today would presumably win by a good margin because he naturally climbs so fast...)
Post edited at 09:11
Robert Durran - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> I don't really agree with this. They are all starting from the same point. Those who are best at lead and bouldering now have just as good an opportunity to train speed for the next few years as those who are less good.

Yes, but it will still be like a Maths competition which could potentially be decided by seeing who can recite the seven times table the fastest.

Rob Parsons on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to RupertD:

> The BMC have supported the inclusion of climbing in the olympics but the decision to include speed was nothing to do with the BMC. It was, as far as I know, mandated by the IOC. None of those links suggest otherwise.

We might be at cross purposes here: I did not mean to imply that the BMC had a direct hand in designing the format. However Dave Turnbull's words read as a firm public endorsement of that format on behalf of the BMC - even down to the (very cheesy in my view) appeal to the 'Olympic motto.'

But you might have some insider knowledge here: is the BMC really in favour of the speed element, or not?

andyr - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

It's not as if other Olympic sports are daft enough to have mixed disiplines.......OK apart from Pentathlon...

Decathalon...Heptathlon......Individual mixed equestrian...Gymnastics....Triathalon... Medley swimming...Alpine Combined skiing...Nordic Combined.......

Howard J - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

If you see sport and competition climbing, and in particular speed climbing, as as threats to traditional British climbing ethics then surely it is better to keep them within the wider climbing/mountaineering representative body, rather than going off on their own where they can completely disregard any impact they might have on other aspects of climbing?
Robert Durran - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to andyr:

> It's not as if other Olympic sports are daft enough to have mixed disiplines.......OK apart from Pentathlon....Decathalon...Heptathlon......Individual mixed equestrian...Gymnastics....Triathalon... Medley swimming...Alpine Combined skiing...Nordic Combined.......

All these also have the individual events.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Si dH:
> Those who are best at lead and bouldering now have just as good an opportunity to train speed for the next few years as those who are less good.

Yes but they won't because spending lots of time on training for speed isn't going to help them climb higher grades on routes or boulders outside or win boulder/lead contests and their sponsors don't make money from gear for speed climbers. It's like suggesting Usain Bolt or Mo Farrah should start practicing throwing javelins so they can make sure the javelin throwers don't beat them in the decathlon.

The basic fact is that the three event triathlon format was a stupid political decision probably the result of the voting system at the IOC. The right approach would be to run with it as a means to an end and try and get separate medals for lead, boulder and speed at the first opportunity.
Post edited at 15:15
tom_in_edinburgh - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Si dH:
> Those who are best at lead and bouldering now have just as good an opportunity to train speed for the next few years as those who are less good.

Yes but they won't because spending lots of time on training for speed isn't going to help them climb higher grades on routes or boulders outside or win boulder/lead contests and their sponsors don't make money from gear for speed climbers. It's like suggesting Usain Bolt or Mo Farrah should start practicing throwing javelins so they can make sure the javelin throwers don't beat them in the decathlon.
Post edited at 15:16
andyr - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I find the 'sniffy' attitude of a number of the posters here towards anything other than traditional outdoor climbing rather disappointing. The dismissive its not 'proper climbing' is one of the reasons why the BMC is floundering around. If I recall correctly; the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the national representative body for England and Wales that exists to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, including ski-mountaineers. Well these days the majority of climbers in the UK are indoor climbers and the BMC is failing to represent the majority. It jumps to the tune of a minority, the outdoor trad climber and in doing so has lost its way and authority to speak on behalf of, or represent all of us. It really doesn't matter if the first Olympic appearance includes all three. The Olympics are a spectator sport and the non climbing spectator isn't going to be dismissive...oh its not really climbing you know...they'll just appreciate the performance; just like they appreciate the 100m sprint. It'll have damn all effect on traditional outdoor climbing. In the last ten years we've gone through a massive increase in the number of participants in climbing. Yet a common theme on these forum is how many crags are under-used and returning to vegetation...........and Stanage STILL HASN'T BEEN GRID BOLTED. For God's sake, the likes of Bob Pettigrew have been promising me this since 1980. It's now thirty seven years later....THIRTY SEVEN YEARS... and traditional climbing still hasn't been ruined by a hoard of plastic pullers rushing out of the Walls....I'm starting to lose faith in these wiser heads.
Scott K - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
At the moment there is no guarantee that any UK climber will qualify for the Olympics as only 20 male and female competitors are going to be allowed (as far as I understand it). Depending on what the entry requirements will be, you could have 3 or 4 Slovenians qualified but none from some other countries. ( if they take the best boulderer and the best lead and the world number 1).
I have also heard that for a separate competition climbing body to be set up for GB climbing, the BMC would have to agree to give up its position. I'm not sure if the BMC would agree to this as they would stand to lose a lot of money.
badmarmot - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I'd like to see speed DWS, new route each time onsight, they could build it under the olympic diving board.
ukb & bmc shark - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Scott K:

> I have also heard that for a separate competition climbing body to be set up for GB climbing, the BMC would have to agree to give up its position. I'm not sure if the BMC would agree to this as they would stand to lose a lot of money.

The BMC is a net contributor to comp climbing i.e. the BMC receives less funding than it pays which according to Ian W, Comps Chair, above has been running at a net contribution of about £35k.

The BMC is currently committed to comp climbing as it is to the Olympics and the early indications from the Independent Review is that it will continue to be so.
L Zoony - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

It all comes down to funding, the elephant in the room that the BMC is keeping quiet about.

The GB team managers need to be planning for Paris and even LA and they will have submitted financial plans to UK Sport for developing competition climbing in Britain over the next 8+ years. I bet their cost projections run into £millions.
1poundSOCKS - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to andyr:

> If I recall correctly; the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the national representative body for England and Wales that exists to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, including ski-mountaineers. Well these days the majority of climbers in the UK are indoor climbers and the BMC is failing to represent the majority.

Depends if the majority are members or not doesn't it? When I started climbing indoors, I never thought to join the BMC. I pay a wall and I climb. I didn't feel I needed a representative body. When I started climbing outdoors, I joined the BMC because I realised we don't get access to all the crags for free.
Robert Durran - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to andyr:
> It's now thirty seven years later....THIRTY SEVEN YEARS... and traditional climbing still hasn't been ruined by a hoard of plastic pullers rushing out of the Walls....I'm starting to lose faith in these wiser heads.

Might this not be like the millenium bug? It didn't happen and people wondered what all the fuss had been about - well, if there hadn't been a fuss and a big effort to avert it, it would have happened. I think that British crags are now safe from rampant bolting, and trad, sport, indoor climbing and competitions can, as they should do, happily coexist, but it might have been otherwise had it not been for the likes of Ken Wilson and others being prepared to stand up and be counted and take the flak. Those "wise heads" are true heroes in my opinion.
Post edited at 20:00
ukb & bmc shark - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Zoony:

> The GB team managers need to be planning for Paris and even LA and they will have submitted financial plans to UK Sport for developing competition climbing in Britain over the next 8+ years. I bet their cost projections run into £millions.

Hard to plan when climbing hasn't been confirmed for subsequent Olympics. One element of any Olympic specific planning is that it can be dismantled if Climbing isn't confirmed at subsequent Olympics.

As I understand it UK sport funding is targeted at specific medal prospects i.e. Those who are likely to get a podium place rather than the sport at large or Olympic events that might not happen
Floquet on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Have you see the scoring format? It heavily favours anyone who is very high ranking in two (or three) of the disciplines, which is kind of the point.

And being very good in just two will gain a higher ranking that being modestly good in all three.

Since lead and boulder are closest in crossover, it actually favours the best lead or bouldering specialists who can also do the other. Janja Garnbret for example.

Given its a combined medal (and yes, separate medals would have been better) it should in no way discourage the best climbers to take part (except perhaps the best speed climbers, who will find it harder to achieve high rankings in the other two disciplines).
Floquet on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Yes but they won't because spending lots of time on training for speed isn't going to help them climb higher grades on routes or boulders outside or win boulder/lead contests and their sponsors don't make money from gear for speed climbers.

They will if IFSC start running more combined comps, or if their sponsors want to be at the Olympics.

> The right approach would be to run with it as a means to an end and try and get separate medals for lead, boulder and speed at the first opportunity.

Agreed.
ukb & bmc shark - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Floquet:

Bang on. A speed climbing specialist is disadvantaged but speed climbing itself provides the best spectacle and likely to be the most popular with the public which in turn will help with inclusion in subsequent Olympics.

Si dH - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Floquet:

> They will if IFSC start running more combined comps, or if their sponsors want to be at the Olympics.

> Agreed.

Also agree with all of both your two posts.
Si dH - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:
I think an important factor in how the overall combined comp is remembered, and how climbing at the olympics is remembered by joe public, will be which event comes last and hence determines the medals. I hope this isn't speed, I'd personally prefer if it was bouldering.
Post edited at 21:43
ukb & bmc shark - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Si dH:

Even if it isn't last, speed climbing will still be the one that is most popular with the public.

Think ninja warrior
Rob Parsons on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

> Think ninja warrior

Ha! Don't stop there! Why not 'Gladiators'? Or the Marx Brothers? ("Run up the curtain, Ravelli!" "Eeeh - what do you think I am, boss? A squirrel!?")
Robert Durran - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

> Speed climbing itself provides the best spectacle.

It provides a shit spectacle for people who know anything at all about climbing.
ukb & bmc shark - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It provides a shit spectacle for people who know anything at all about climbing.


Keep an open mind. You never know - you might find yourself enjoying it
Robert Durran - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> I think an important factor in how the overall combined comp is remembered, and how climbing at the olympics is remembered by joe public, will be which event comes last and hence determines the medals. I hope this isn't speed, I'd personally prefer if it was bouldering.

I hope it's lead because speed is a joke and the bouldering score system is more complicated.
andyr - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Rather presumptuous to reply on behalf of 'people who know anything at all about climbing'.
Ian W - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It provides a shit spectacle for people who know anything at all about climbing.

Didnt stop an entry list of almost 100 in the British Speed Climbing Championships.........
Robert Durran - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Didnt stop an entry list of almost 100 in the British Speed Climbing Championships.........

Loads of people enter the X Factor and loads of people watch that too.
winhill - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Didnt stop an entry list of almost 100 in the British Speed Climbing Championships.........

How many of those were old enough to drive themselves to the comp?
tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:
The IFSC Bouldering world cup can draw a few thousand people and fill a chunk of the Olympic stadium in Munich, the IFSC lead world cup can fill a good few rows of seats at Ratho - maybe a few hundred people. The speed is lunch hour entertainment that would never be able to sell enough tickets to pay its way unless it was co-located with lead.

Bouldering walls are opening up all over the place, most cities have several of them. There are significantly fewer lead walls than boulder walls but there is only one fully compliant (and one almost compliant) speed wall in the whole of the UK.

And yet speed is allegedly going to be the most popular version of climbing with the public? It's not: the data from where people have spent actual money to watch or take part says bouldering is going to be the most popular by a mile. Speed is good for a 6 second cameo on a news program, it isn't anything like as good at capturing an audience and holding them for an hour or two because once you have watched people run up the speed wall really fast three or four times it gets boring. There are nuances in speed but unless you have really studied the sequence and watch in slow motion they aren't easy to see: bouldering and lead are arguably more accessible.
Post edited at 01:13
Robert Durran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The speed is lunch hour entertainment that would never be able to sell enough tickets to pay its way unless it was co-located with lead.

> There is only one fully compliant (and one almost compliant) speed wall in the whole of the UK.

Once this silly speed fad is over these walls will be available to be put to good use. I was thinking that the Ratho speed wall with its constant angle would make a great endurance version of a systems board with a range of holds allowing people to tailor themselves perfect sustained routes for lapping.
ukb & bmc shark - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

It's no fad it's been around for decades.

Tell me this isn't impressive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udF7CMcjwrQ
ukb & bmc shark - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Yes. You are getting into the realms of what constitutes popularity. An audience watching the whole contest and engaging in a sport or a clip that goes viral. Both are important these days.

Diving happens too fast for most spectators to appreciate the nuances other than the water entry but still appreciate the spectacle and athleticism.
Robert Durran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

> It's no fad it's been around for decades. .

And Graeco-Roman wrestling has been around for millennia. Still quite popular in Tajikistan or wherever. No doubt there's a brief flurry of interest in this country when the Olympics come round.

> Tell me this isn't impressive
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udF7CMcjwrQ

Yeh, whatever.

L Zoony - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark

> It's no fad it's been around for decades.

> Tell me this isn't impressive


OMG is this where the BMC is going
ukb & bmc shark - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Zoony:

> OMG is this where the BMC is going


ClimbFaster

Ramon Marin - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Why do you keep insisting they are disparate disciplines???? You really seem to be stuck in your own little backwards hole. Comp climbers turn to be amazing real climbers, too many to mention, like Hazel Findlay for example. So, why are you so against to support our sport in all its forms? Comp climbing is as valid path to real climbing as any other. I think you should leave the BMC alone and start your own club called OHWS (Old Hill Walkers go Scrambling) or something like that, and asks your mates to join you. BMC needs to support all forms of climbing, end of. The more the merrier. The more the stronger.
GrahamD - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Ramon Marin:

I don't insist they are separate disciplines (they clearly aren't) - this the perspective of the participant and I fully understand that.

I am saying (and this is only my opinion) that to administer and govern indoor climbing and to run teams and competitions is a totally different requirement to being a representative body enabling all outdoor enthusiasts to get access to and to enjoy the outdoors. Increasingly it appears to me that this difference puts a strain on the identity of a body that tries to be all things to all men (women) (see the recent BMC rebranding debate) and increasingly makes funding models unclear - which can't help sponsorship.
Floquet on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> And yet speed is allegedly going to be the most popular version of climbing with the public? It's not: the data from where people have spent actual money to watch or take part says bouldering is going to be the most popular by a mile.

I think you may be confusing the TV viewing public, with the current participating climbing base (because almost all current climbing spectators are climbers)

> Speed is good for a 6 second cameo on a news program, it isn't anything like as good at capturing an audience and holding them for an hour or two because once you have watched people run up the speed wall really fast three or four times it gets boring.

Ah yes. Like the same way people got fed up of watching those 100m athletics races that used to be really popular until everyone realised they were just 8 people running in a straight line.



Robert Durran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Floquet:

> Ah yes. Like the same way people got fed up of watching those 100m athletics races that used to be really popular until everyone realised they were just 8 people running in a straight line.

Track athletics is the competitive version, held on an artificial track, of me just going out for a run. Competition climbing is the competitive version, held on an artificial wall, of me just going out climbing. The 100m is simply shorter than other races. Speed climbing is an absurd, bastardised parody of the other disciplines.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> Speed climbing is an absurd, bastardised parody of the other disciplines.

Whilst I don't necessarily believe what I am about to say will turn out to be true, it wasn't so long ago that bouldering + sport climbing were considered bastardised parodies of trad climbing (and look where they are now). Go back further it's worth remembering that even trad climbing - the holiest of holy - was simply the poor cousin of alpine climbing/mountaineering.

Only time will tell whether speed climbing has the legs for such longevity.
Graeme Alderson on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

The route will probably change after 2020 although almost certain to stay on the same wall.

Shauna has just gone public on her desire to be in the Olympics http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/41540755
Robert Durran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Whilst I don't necessarily believe what I am about to say will turn out to be true, it wasn't so long ago that bouldering + sport climbing were considered bastardised parodies of trad climbing (and look where they are now). Go back further it's worth remembering that even trad climbing - the holiest of holy - was simply the poor cousin of alpine climbing/mountaineering.

As I said earlier, there is a clear thread from alpine mountaineering to indoor bouldering and lead climbing where each subsport has emerged through originally being practice or training for its parent sport. Speed climbing simply doesn't fit into this picture.
Ian W - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> I am saying (and this is only my opinion) that to administer and govern indoor climbing and to run teams and competitions is a totally different requirement to being a representative body enabling all outdoor enthusiasts to get access to and to enjoy the outdoors. Increasingly it appears to me that this difference puts a strain on the identity of a body that tries to be all things to all men (women) (see the recent BMC rebranding debate) and increasingly makes funding models unclear - which can't help sponsorship.

And not for the first time in this thread; we have looked at separating comp climbing admin from the BMC, both in terms of complete separation, and a "wholly owned subsidiary" type of scenario. At the present time, we do not believe that either of those two options offers significant enough benefits for any part of comp climbing, or the BMC as a whole to separate. It might solve a problem perceived by some, but would create other problems of its own (not least duplication of management / admin effort).
The identity of the BMC can be whatever you want to perceive it to be, but at the moment it manages to be both the representative body for climber, mountaineers etc etc, and also the organising / governing body for organised competitive climbing and representative national teams, without too much of a compromise on anyones part.

Ian W - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Scott K:

> I have also heard that for a separate competition climbing body to be set up for GB climbing, the BMC would have to agree to give up its position. I'm not sure if the BMC would agree to this as they would stand to lose a lot of money.

Which is an interesting point of view given that a significant proportion of this thread , and other similar threads is centred on how much money the BMC gives to comp climbing rather than gains from its involvement.........

In reply to Robert Durran:
Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate here (if so, sorry..), but speed climbing has long been a part of climbing/mountaineering - hasn't it?

Just look at the various records out there that exist - the Nose + Eiger North Face being the two most famous (off the top of my head) - but they are by no means in isolation, there's loads of them. Whilst I agree that the current speed climbing competition format is an extremely distilled form of all of these, the fundamentals aren't that dissimilar to the examples you gave within your own breakdown.
Post edited at 16:39
winhill - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Shauna has just gone public on her desire to be in the Olympics http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/41540755

She announced it previously on social media, lots of people surprised because she didn't look interested before.

She hasn't competed in any lead or speed comps yet, has she been injured (she was at Ratho just not climbing)?

"The funding body (UK Sport) wanted extra time to consider whether those sports had genuine medal prospects.

They have recently begun to back Coxsey with 'interim funding' to support her transition to Olympic climbing."

I thought they were due to announce this in a few weeks, or is that what interim means?

Shows that UK Sport are funding climbers though.
winhill - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate here (if so, sorry..), but speed climbing has long been a part of climbing/mountaineering - hasn't it?

That's not speed climbing, is it? You could try to make a different fist of it but I don't think that's worth it, is it?

Graeme Alderson on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Don't forget Wee Doris, 42 seconds by Dave Thomas I seem to remember.
Floquet on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Speed climbing is an absurd, bastardised parody of the other disciplines.

One could make a similar argument about trad climbing being a bastardised parody of soloing. All that metalwork and technological innovation getting in the way of a simple climb.

But most of us are more open minded than that, and can see a role for all the variants of climbing.
Graeme Alderson on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

I am not aware of any injury, she is training as hard as ever, so maybe all is in hand, my guess is she doesn't want to do a LWC until she is a bit more prepared.

No, it shows that UKS have started to fund one climber who has a genuine medal hope. Very narrow parameters.
Robert Durran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Speed climbing has long been a part of climbing/mountaineering - hasn't it?

> Just look at the various records out there that exist - the Nose + Eiger North Face being the two most famous (off the top of my head) - but they are by no means in isolation, there's loads of them. Whilst I agree that the current speed climbing competition format is an extremely distilled form of all of these, the fundamentals aren't that dissimilar to the examples you gave within your own breakdown.

Nobody has ever done anything remotely resembling competition speed climbing as preparation/training for any of that stuff; there is no thread as there is between indoor bouldering and lead climbing and forms of climbing higher up the hierarchy. Just because we have two activities with "speed" in the title, it doesn't mean there is any meaningful connection.

Robert Durran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Floquet:

> One could make a similar argument about trad climbing being a bastardised parody of soloing.

No one couldn't.
L Zoony - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:
> Just look at the various records out there that exist - the Nose + Eiger North Face being the two most famous (off the top of my head) - but they are by no means in isolation, there's loads of them. Whilst I agree that the current speed climbing competition format is an extremely distilled form of all of these, the fundamentals aren't that dissimilar to the examples you gave within your own breakdown.

But they weren't done as a race against another competitor for the amusement of an audience

The Arnold Schwarzenegger film "Running Man" comes to mind
Post edited at 18:13
tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Floquet:

> Ah yes. Like the same way people got fed up of watching those 100m athletics races that used to be really popular until everyone realised they were just 8 people running in a straight line.

The more interesting question is why the most popular sprinting event is 100m and not 50m or 25m and why the most popular sprint has 8 people at once rather than two people head to head and lots and lots of heats.

I think speed climbing would be more entertaining if the course was a little slower and in an ideal world higher.


Graeme Alderson on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

The route will almost certainly change after Tokyo, making it, at least at first, slower. I doubt very much the height will increase as if that happened there would be a lot of unhappy 15m speed wall owners around. Even changing the holds would cost a venue around £1000!
Robert Durran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> I think speed climbing would be more entertaining if the course was a little slower and in an ideal world higher.

So maybe simply with a, say, 6 minute time limit and a route of, well, lets say about 9a and 25 metres - see who can get the highest in the time allowed.
Post edited at 19:42
Floquet on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
> So maybe simply with a, say, 6 minute time limit and a route of, well, lets say about 9a - see who can get the highest in the time allowed.

Make it an 8a, with two climbers side by side, and the winner the first to top, and everybody will be happy. job done.

And if you insist, they can carry lots of metalwork and hammer pegs in the wall on the way up too.
Post edited at 19:46
Robert Durran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Floquet:

> Make it an 8a, with two climbers side by side, and the winner the first to top, and everybody will be happy. job done.

That would certainly make a far better spectacle than the current speed climbing format. The balance between speed and not screwing up would be great. And, what's more, it really would have it roots in proper mountaineering - speed v safety with a storm coming in.
Floquet on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> That would certainly make a far better spectacle than the current speed climbing format. The balance between speed and not screwing up would be great. And, what's more, it really would have it roots in proper mountaineering - speed v safety with a storm coming in.

That's the first positive thing I've heard you say! Start making your case to the IFSC now.
Graeme Alderson on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Floquet:

Except that it is a new format (in IFSC terms) and therefore was specifically excluded by the IOC.
stp - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

The point I was making was about the combined format. I don't think the BMC had any input into the actual format for the Olympics. I think it's the fact that speed has been made a compulsory part that has forced more interest in it. Had lead and bouldering been kept separate from speed I wonder if Team GB would even bother with it at all?
tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> The route will almost certainly change after Tokyo, making it, at least at first, slower. I doubt very much the height will increase as if that happened there would be a lot of unhappy 15m speed wall owners around. Even changing the holds would cost a venue around £1000!

Yeah, I agree that it would be near impossible to get people to buy new speed walls now, which is a pity because probably a little higher and/or wider (to add length via more horizontal zig-zag) would have been better. I'm not so sure about making it massively harder to the point where most climbers would struggle to top it. I think speed walls will be more interesting as a feature in climbing centres if the grade stays accessible to most people and its just about how fast you get to the top.

The other thing that would make a difference to the popularity of speed walls is having speed autobelays and timing on them outside of competitions and ideally linking the timing to a phone app and website with high score lists.
L Zoony - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:


> The other thing that would make a difference to the popularity of speed walls is having speed autobelays and timing on them outside of competitions and ideally linking the timing to a phone app and website with high score lists.

They've got these at some climbing walls, but they're for children
Graeme Alderson on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Zoony:

If you can't contribute to the discussion why contribute?
Jon Greengrass on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Floquet:

I don't think they will make the speed route any harder, because no commercial climbing wall would want one installed that a tiny minority of their customers would use.
fred99 - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

It's not malicious shit-stirring, just someone who wants to know just what influence the separate entities of mountaineering have at the top table of the BMC.

If anyone is shit-stirring it's someone who lives in southern Germany sticking his nose into the business of British climbing.
Pedro50 on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

> It's no fad it's been around for decades.

> Tell me this isn't impressive


Actually it makes me feel rather nauseous, impressive in the same way as a dog dancing on its hind legs.
ukb & bmc shark - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

> Actually it makes me feel rather nauseous, impressive in the same way as a dog dancing on its hind legs.

Hah. You haven't changed
Pedro50 on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

> Hah. You haven't changed

Thanks, good luck with the fund raising!
winhill - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

> In reply to Ian W:

> Didnt stop an entry list of almost 100 in the British Speed Climbing Championships.........

> How many of those were old enough to drive themselves to the comp?

Now that the results are up I can count just 77 entries, 20 adults and of the 6 women the winner was Swiss!

Was one of the 5 entries left also not British?

So just 4 or 5 British women?

Ian W - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

87 in total (37 + 30 + 14 + 6)

Yup, only 6 senior female, (4 brits, 1 swiss and 1 slovenian), but speed will never attract a big field while we have only Ratho and Awesome with pistes. Although Harrogate are opening a 10m piste and the Hub at rockover have a 3 section training venue......

Fiend didnt bother to turn up, even though i said i'd pay his entry........

As always, the kids show the way to go - look at Joe Czub's time - 8.1 seconds would take Will Bosi's British record if it was on an official wall, as would Emily Phillips 11.69.

L Dodec Ahedron - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:
I presume that the BMC pay fees to the IFSC, presumably quite large, probably an extra fee per entrant I guess also?

Can any of the officials on here confirm how much of BMC or grant money goes to the IFSC.

I understand the BMC also has representatives on some kind of 'council' at the IFSC.

Who, specifically, are these people and how does the BMC appoint them. Are they officers? Volunteers?
Do they represent the BMC membership or just the athletes?

To whom do the representatives report? To the Exec? To National Council? The the Comps committee? A periodic report direct to members would be properly representative. Can you point us at an example of such a report?

Does the BMC fee to the IFSC buy any influence or a vote in decision making or policy forming process? If not, why do we send representatives?

For example was there a IFSC council vote on the recent broadcasting decisions? Did the BMC reps have any influence in this decision, or knowledge that these decisions were being taken before hand? If so, why did they not report this to members? To whom are the BMC representatives allied, to the IFSC or to the BMC members they represent?

Did the BMC reps have a vote in the decision to include speed climbing?

Or are these decisions all made autocratically by 'somebody' at the top? what is the name of this person and who appointed them? What is the tenure of this person?

Recent decisions don't look good in terms of representation and democracy.

Unless you can explain otherwise, the BMC fee and expenditure on resources does not seem to afford any influence or accountability to the BMC membership.
Post edited at 10:25
Ian W - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Dodec Ahedron:
If you want to enter a reasoned discussion about it, let me know who you are, please. As it stands, you are coming across as another annoying internet troll out to waste time and effort. Quite happy to answer, but not if you are just going to just spout off anonymously.


Post edited at 11:50
john arran - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

To me, he's coming across as one of the same internet trolls who already have posted above, just under a different name. More aliases for the same person spouting the same crap adds no credibility to it.
Ian W - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Dodec Ahedron:

One of the reasons i say that is that most of the info regarding the ifsc can be found on their website, without resorting to UKC.
If you were to do some prior fact finding and research yourself, the remainder of your questions would be much better informed, and subsequently my answers would be much more relevant and informative.
www.ifsc-climbing.org
tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Dodec Ahedron:

Maybe the easiest way to resolve this is for BMC/MCofS to stick another 10 quid on the entry price for all their comps and ring fence all the money collected from comp entry fees and government funding for climbing as a sport for the comp climbing side to spend as it sees fit. As the parent of a comp climbing kid I wouldn't really mind paying a bit extra to BMC/MCofS if it went to build up the comp side of the organisation including more funding for the GB team because the entry fees are peanuts compared with the costs of travel and coaching.

However, as a quid pro quo it would be nice if the trad-climbing/hillwalking lobby could STFU about how their subs are spent.





L Dodec Ahedron - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

A telling response to reasonable questions about accountability.

I don't recall spouting off. Just a civilised questions about representation from a by stander with doubts after some the recent fiasco.

I thought in this new era of freedom of information you might be only too pleased to put my enquiry to rest with reasonable answers.

You might easy quote from terms of reference or some other instrument, but instead you play the person rather than the ball. Not very sporting, but sadly ofthen the case when sport attracts money and funding.

I don't really see a problem if you say that the reps support athletes, no problem, they are, AFAIK, mostly funded by none BMC money anyway and I'd be happy to know that some sort of BMC committee or functionary at least had at least some oversight over that role.

If you told me the IFSC wasn't very accountable and stuffed up the recent broadcast decisions, but our BMC reps are using their influence towards working towards greater accountability(whether membership or athlete driven) at the IFSC council or whatever it is called. Great, progress, that would be a good answer.

Assurances of accountability and representation in some form is what I was seeking, not a personal argument, not least because I don't have time for arguments.

I have no interest in the competition climbing, nor any axe to grind. But I would like the various functions of the BMC to be transparent and accountable to the membership. It isn't too much to ask. I do currently have my doubts given the recent fiasco's involving the IFSC, which is why I enquire.

If IFSC website lists the terms of reference of reference of reps , please provide the link.
Like wise for a reps report of meetings, from the BMC website.

I haven't looked to hard, as I thought you would be only to happy to put my doubts to rest.
L Dodec Ahedron - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Maybe the easiest way to resolve this is for BMC/MCofS to stick another 10 quid on the entry price for all their comps and ring fence all the money collected from comp entry fees and government funding for climbing as a sport for the comp climbing side to spend as it sees fit. As the parent of a comp climbing kid I wouldn't really mind paying a bit extra to BMC/MCofS if it went to build up the comp side of the organisation including more funding for the GB team because the entry fees are peanuts compared with the costs of travel and coaching.

> However, as a quid pro quo it would be nice if the trad-climbing/hillwalking lobby could STFU about how their subs are spent.

YOu could stick 10 quid on entry or 10 quid on BMC membership,but for me, it isn't about the money, but rather about accountability and representation.
L Dodec Ahedron - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:
Actually, don't bother about posting replies, I'll just try and get to the next area meeting and ask for myself from the horses mouth.
Post edited at 13:30
Graeme Alderson on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Dodec Ahedron:

Oh the irony of an anonymous poster asking for accountability!
Ian W - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Dodec Ahedron:

> A telling response to reasonable questions about accountability.

> I don't recall spouting off. Just a civilised questions about representation from a by stander with doubts after some the recent fiasco.

The questions dont come across as reasonable; they read as if they are mischief making trolls, pointed as they are towards the "the IFSC are unaccountable power crazy fools" spectrum of Pettigrew-isms.

Go look at the ifsc website, possibly reread some of the relevant previous ukc threads (or ukb if thats more your scene, but I really dont think you are going to like what you read there......., and)then ask again when in a position of lesser ignorance.
Ian W - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Dodec Ahedron:

Which area? Depending on how mischevious I feel, I might rock up.......
L Zoony - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

I would like to see a proper reply to Dodec Ahedron questions
danm on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Zoony:

Answer my question first: did you make your account purely to stir sh** on this subject?
Ian W - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Zoony:

I refer you to my original response. If he comes up with some reasoned questions from a position of some (easily acquired ) knowledge, I'm more than happy to answer. I also prefer to discuss and debate with people who are prepared to stand up and be open about who they are.

Sooooo.........

who are you?

PS - if there is a good reason why anonimity is important, then PM me your identity; it will remain confidential.
Pedro50 on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Zoony:

There are some gobby new users with zero profile on here.
Hugh Mongous - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

> There are some gobby new users with zero profile on here.

Maybe we should have a sock puppet alert button.
john arran - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

> There is A gobby new user with zero profileS on here.

FTFY

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