BMC International Meet 2013

by Duncan Campbell - UKC May/2013
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Host Ed Booth on Bow Wall, E2 5b, Bosigran, 151 kb
Host Ed Booth on Bow Wall, E2 5b, Bosigran
© Rob Greenwood

This years' International Meet was held at Bosigran, Cornwall, (12th-19th May), fortunately giving mainly great weather despite the bad forecast and unseasonably cold temperatures in the UK. Once again, climbers of all abilities from both the UK and over 20 different countries came together to share in experiencing British Trad Climbing.


The concept behind these meets is that a number of foreign guests from a variety of countries, with a range of trad climbing experience, from none to high levels of competence, are paired up to the UK hosts, who then pass on the idea of the British Trad Ethic and the skills required to climb routes in this style.

With the meet being held in Cornwall, sea cliff climbing was the theme of the meet, with teams visiting a variety of crags including Carn Gowla, Pentire Head, Bosigran, Sennen, Land's End, Zennor, Kenidjack, and the Lizard.

As always, the BMC's Becky McGovern organised the meet, She has written a full report on the BMC Website.

Local Climbing Guide, Stu Bradbury on Grand Plage, E3 6a, 153 kb
Local Climbing Guide, Stu Bradbury on Grand Plage, E3 6a
© Johnathon Redmond

Despite the visitors being greeted by a typically grey, drizzly, English day and one day of extremely wet weather, 140 routes between Diff and E6 were climbed. Many of which were the guests' first trad leads, which is basically what the core of the meet is about; teaching climbers from around the world about our British Ethic for traditional climbing not relying on the use of bolts for protection.

The BMC's Regional Development Area Representative, Rob Greenwood was in attendance as a host and had this to say about the week:

"One of the striking things about the week is the overwhelming keenness of the guests to get involved within the traditional ethic that makes British climbing - and particularly sea cliff climbing - so unique.
Some, such as visiting German Benno Wagner, get into the vibe more than most British climbers do within a whole lifetime. Having introduced Benno to the concept of hollow stars + daggers (i.e. unrepeated, dangerous, and potentially very 'adventurous' routes) he racked up a tally of Cornwall's least popular, yet arguably most impressive routes, such as Atlantic Ocean Wall (E5ish) and A Bridge Too Far (E5++) at Lands End, Bubbles Wall (E5 verging on E6 6b / F7b+) on Portenack Point, and a great number of others too long to list. Legend has it he was overheard saying that he had no interest in making a visit to Sennen because the rock was too good and the climbs to short..."
However, Benno is not the average meet attendee, with the majority of ascents being between VS and E3, and many guests making their first steps into the world of traditional climbing.


In addition to showing the guests all about British climbing, it was an opportunity to showcase some British culture, including that specific to the West Country; with the guests having a curry in the pub, fish and chips in the car park, and a barn dance complete with local musicians and farmyard animals.


Benno Wagner atop Bosigran after a good day's cragging , 71 kb
Benno Wagner atop Bosigran after a good day's cragging
© Rob Greenwood

The BMC would like to thank: "all the UK hosts who gave their time and care in taking the international guests climbing, to all the guests for travelling far and wide to be there, to the Climbers' Club for providing a superb venue, Toni Carver for organising the local bands, The North Face for donating prizes, and finally (but by no means least) to 'Team Peters' for doing an awesome job of feeding 66 hungry climbers and helping to keep spirits up with their boundless positivity."



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