How Many People Go Mountaineering In England?

Sport England ran their fourth Active People Survey in 2010 attempting to measure how many people in England participate in various sports and whether participation has increased. Details of the survey here.

setting out on the traverse of
setting out on the traverse of "Handrail"
© slim, Mar 2011

Participation in a sport was defined as the number of adults (age 16 plus) who have taken part in the sport at moderate intensity for 30 minutes or more at least once in the last week (at least four days out of the previous 28).

The survey found that Mountaineering has grown from 86,100 adults (0.21%) in 2007/8 to 111,300 adults (0.26%) in 2009/10, an increase of 25,200 participants.

Mountaineering includes: climbing indoor, climbing rock, mountaineering, mountaineering high altitude, hill trekking, hill walking, bouldering, and mountain walking.

In the period between 2007/8 (Active People Survey 2) and 2009/10 (Active People Survey 4), four sports: athletics, cycling, netball, and mountaineering show a statistically significant increase in participation rates.

You can read the full results here.

BMC Membership

According to the BMC other indicators of mountaineering participation include:

  • BMC membership has grown in recent years, from a total of about 25,000 in 1990 to over 70,000 currently.
  • Each year there are currently approximately 5 million climbing wall users in the UK. There are over 300 public access climbing walls listed within the BMC wall directory and there are further climbing walls in schools, gyms and those used by the military.

Source: BMC News Report

UKC Figures

As regards rock climbing several years ago asked the rock shoe distributors how many rock shoes they sold each year, the total figure was around 70,000 pairs.

Another indicator to add to the mix is's Google Analytic Figures. Google Analytics measures how many people visit and currently that is around 200,000 different people each month of which 83% are regular visitors.

This post has been read 14,228 times

Return to Latest News

8 Apr, 2011
Indoor Climbing is Mountaineering now?
8 Apr, 2011
it is if you squint a bit... okay, very hard...? I was wondering about that too... my personal perception of mountaineering (as opposed to the dictionary one) is that it involves mountains, weather and strenuousness, and that the only way it really comes into play in the UK is in winter climbing. Perhaps that's just me though.
8 Apr, 2011
beat me to it.
8 Apr, 2011
Even more amusing that mountaineering includes bouldering...
8 Apr, 2011
To be fair to SportEngland here (as someone who has done the surveys for the last 3 or 4 years), the actual category is Climbing/Mountaineering.
More Comments