BMC Presidential Election - The Race Is On

It's not often the climbing community gets a presidential run-off, but in a mirror of the recent US elections, there are two candidates currently vying for the post of BMC President.

The vote is to be held on the 25th April at the BMC AGM held at Plas y Brenin, Snowdonia.

The current President of the BMC Charles Clarke will retire and the candidates hoping to replace him are Rab Carrington (currently Vice President) and Doug Scott.

Rab Carrington (of RAB equipment fame) has been involved with the BMC for the last five years. He considers one of his main strengths (aside from 40+ years of climbing) to be:

"A forward-looking attitude which allows me to realise that mountaineering is an ever-changing sport. A realisation that everything that was done in the past was not necessarily good and, likewise, new directions in the future are not necessarily bad!"

Doug 'I survived The Ogre' Scott has the phrase "Back to Basics" as the cornerstone of his manifesto, stating:

"The BMC plays a key role in British climbing and not just because of all the services it provides. Climb in those countries without the equivalent organisation and see the proliferation of drilled rock more or less everywhere."

Doug's key points also state that he will:

"Open up a vigorous debate upon man vs mountain or man vs man and whether climbing should head towards the Olympics."

As well as making sure that:

"Bolt funds are to be used not only for replacing unsafe bolts but also for removing bolts where they compromise traditional climbing."

Rab Carrington set out his aims for the next three years:

  • Improve the efficiency of the BMC organisation

  • Improve communications between the BMC, its members and the outside world

  • Safeguard all forms of mountaineering, climbing and hill walking for the future.

In an informal magazine interview for Summit a few years ago, just after his retirement from his successful business, Rab said:

"I volunteered for the BMC to keep myself busy. I feel I can bring something to it. Lots of things such as access are very much under control, but I'm more interested in seeing how more modern attitudes such as walls and competitions can fit in to the BMC structure. I look upon myself as the young voice of BMC - I'm 58."

He also said:

"I did Body Machine late last year, my first 7c, which pleased me a lot. I'd like to think I could still achieve 8a."

Two years on and Rab is now 60 and has climbed F8a - with an ascent of the aptly named New Age Traveller at Malham just before his 60th birthday - not a bad cherry on top of his successful Alpine and trad career.

I'm an active member of the BMC Youth and Training Committee and the Competitions Comittee

Rab Carrington

Doug Scott is still hugely active on the lecture circuit, speaking about his Himalayan success with Sir Chris Bonnington and Dougald Haston among others. His website says:

"He has made all his climbs in lightweight or Alpine Style, without the use of artificial oxygen."

It looks as though the two candidates have somewhat different agendas, with a modern, up-beat approach from Carrington echoing the Obama "Yes we can" slogan and Scott's more conservative stance, perhaps born from his wealth of experience of traditional climbing and Himalayan suffering, being akin to the McCain campaign, with both individuals coming from a position of vast experience.

All members of the BMC are welcome at the AGM at Plas y Brenin and all members have the right to vote. You can vote in person at the AGM, or you can vote by proxy using the card supplied in the March issue of Summit magazine (more info here).

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