Alan Blackshaw has been a driving force within the UIAA on a number of initiatives since he first became a member (and subsequently President) of the Mountaineering Commission in 1985. Since 1995 he has been UIAA Special Representative to the UN Global Mountain Partnership and its predecessor bodies.
Like many involved in the UIAA, Blackshaw has made significant contributions to national mountaineering organisations. In his case, he was President of the BMC (1973 -76), Chair of Committeee for Plas y Brenin (1985-97), and has also served on a number of skiing, national sport and environment bodies. All this in addition to a distinguished career in Government service.
During his BMC Presidency he was instrumental in developing the Committee structure, introducing Individual Membership, and masterminding the move from London to Manchester. It was also in this decisive period that Dennis Gray was appointed as the first General Secretary, and Peter Boardman became the National Officer. In 1979 Alan was made a Patron of the BMC.
In his "spare time" he wrote the classic Penguin handbook Mountaineering: from hillwalking to alpine climbing, which was in print from 1966 until 1978, and edited the Alpine Journal (1966-70). He was also President of the Alpine Club (2001-04).