As part of our commitment to improve communication of the work of the BMC and the important key issues for our members and community we will be providing regular monthly updates from the organisation. This will support existing sources like our monthly newsletter and be part of a new suite of opportunities to hear more about the work we are doing on behalf of the community, to improve existing areas of operation and the development of new programmes of work.
The Volunteers have now completed the listening sessions with stakeholders and we would like to thank the staff, coaches, volunteers, climbers and parents for their positive engagement and honest feedback. An initial summary has been provided to the Board on 23 Oct and the team will feedback the headlines on what they heard to those involved in sessions over the next couple of weeks.
The Board will be considering the options available for addressing issues that have been raised at the next meeting on 1 Nov.
New GB Climbing policies Launched
A huge collaborative effort to get these over the line with GBC team.
We have also started an ‘off the wall’ series, which is all about proactively talking around updates that are happening behind the scenes and ‘off the wall’ in the GBC space.
Starting with Selections enhancements, SkiMo steering group, England Squad application processes and currently working on a GB Ice Climbing Team Youth World Championships Selection Policy.
England Pathway Programme
We have updated the England Pathway Programme information, and were keen to introduce the team behind the work too.
Olympic Qualification Chances
This weekend, over 50 of Europe's finest sport climbers will gather in Laval, France, for the highly anticipated IFSC European Qualifier Laval 2023, with one common goal: securing a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics.
With only two quota places available, one for men and one for women, this event boasts the smallest number of spots in the entire qualification process, setting the stage for an intense competition.
Among the top contenders is GB Climbing's teen prodigy, Toby Roberts, who has set his sights on securing the men's quota spot. Roberts has enjoyed a highly successful season, clinching two World Cup stage victories, one in Boulder at Brixen and another in Lead at Chamonix.
You can follow the event on GB Climbing's social channels or watch it live on the Olympic YouTube channel.
BMC FINANCES 2023
As part of the work in resetting the budget earlier this year a budgeting error was discovered which the Finance and Audit Committee (FAC) are looking into. This work is complex and is taking significant time and volunteer effort to complete; ensuring that we have a clear and consolidated set of reports. Once the impacts are clarified an update and any necessary corrective actions will be provided to members; until then we will allow FAC to undertake their work to provide the Board and Members Council with the facts which can be then actioned.
Whilst we await for the outcome of this work, the headline is that while the BMC finances are under pressure they are fundamentally OK; membership is still increasing on the same trajectory as last year, and the Board and Members Council have no concerns about the long term financing of the BMC.
The Board & FAC updated Members Council on progress on 24 Oct and will update them further at the next meeting on 14 Nov.
MEMBER FEEDBACK FORUMS AND ENGAGEMENT
We are committed to expanding the opportunities for members to provide feedback to help us improve our support, services and work on behalf of the hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering community. As part of this process we will be establishing a new schedule of updates, such as this, and organising structured forums in which information can be shared and feedback provided in a constructive environment. We will continue to provide regular updates and the intention is to provide a written statement in mid-November, and hold an open forum in mid-December, primarily to give further updates on BMC finances and the GB Climbing listening sessions.
In other news from the BMC this October…
NEW MEMBER BENEFITS LAUNCHED
We've been working with our friends at komoot to add this exclusive benefit to your BMC membership.
Members can redeem a Komoot Region Bundle worth £8.99 each. Komoot lets you find, plan, and share adventures with its easy route planner. So whether you're planning a multi-day hike through the Pennines, looking for a more adventurous way up Scafell or just looking to get from A to B on foot or by bike, Komoot can help you plan your adventures.
Abel & Cole / Sustainable Shopping
We're excited to be working with our friends at Abel & Cole
to help our supporters take a step towards more sustainable shopping, Abel & Cole are offering BMC members an exclusive discount of 50% off your first and fourth Abel & Cole Fruit and Veg Box – just use the exclusive offer code MOUNTAIN23
WE WELCOME A NEW SUMMIT EDITOR
Claire Maxted, formerly of Trail magazine and co-founder and editor of Trail Running magazine is our new Summit Magazine editor.
“I’m thrilled to be working on the BMC’s membership magazine, it really is my dream job."
For the 2024 issues we’re very keen to hear more from members - please do email me photos
of what you’ve been up to in the hills and mountains. Also, remember to use the hashtag #BMCAdventures on social media too, so we can find your piccies online. The best will appear in future issues of Summit and one lucky member will win a prize for their efforts.
Following Paul Davies stepping down as the BMC CEO, we have begun the process to find our new Chief Executive Officer.
We are actively seeking a visionary leader to join us as our next CEO, leading the BMC - the National Representative body within England and Wales and the recognised National Governing body for competition climbing.
Governance and Compliance Manager
We are actively seeking an experienced individual to take on the important governance and compliance function within the BMC. This position will also undertake the role of Company Secretary to the BMC, providing support to the Board of Directors as required. https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-jobs
ACCESS ROUND UP
Crowdfunding at Sirhowy crag goes wild
We recently wrote to our members, asking for their support in raising money for the purchase of Sirhowy Crag, a beloved sandstone crag in South Wales. We are delighted to announce that, just 50 hours later, we have already raised over £12,000.
Any funds raised over the asking price will be ringfenced for the purpose of maintaining the crag for climbing and for nature, as well as any additional costs.
Negotiations with the landowner to ensure that the crag purchase goes through are now underway.
Harrisons Rocks bolt inspection and pull testing anchor bolts. The work included the routine periodic inspection of all the top rope anchors to ensure they’re in good condition and identify any that may need replacing.
Wildcat Main Crag re-opened (again) after a very positive meeting new signage wording was agreed and Manor Adventure okayed the resumption of access to the main crag via abseil, which had been suspended earlier in the following various incidents of the agreed access arrangements not being followed. The new signage is now in place an access is restored.
Rivelin Edge new access – A meeting was held with the relatively new landowner at this classic gritstone edge. Arrangements were drawn up around permissions for occasional tree/shrub clearance, the owner made it clear that he wishes climbers to approach in a different way, and it was agreed that climbing could take place on the whole edge.
Cornice loose rock clearance – The area was found to be troublingly unsafe and it was decided that the best course of action was to remove the blocks and a fair tonnage of rock is now safely distributed across the base of the crag and the area above Martial Music has been tied up ready for next years sport climbing season.
Slipstones parking restrictions - After careful negotiation by the very experienced access rep Mick Johnson a parking ban has been avoided for the present, so long as the specific parking arrangements are adhered to. The landowner is to install their own signage to reinforce.
Symonds Yat rockfall – A large rockfall recently took place. Forestry England have since closed off the whole crag to all users including climbers while they carry out further investigations and risk assessments. Further follow up at a national level is going on to get this nationally important crag re-opened. We’re hopeful there will be better news to report on this in the near future.
Horseshoe Quarry pond restoration – After successful application to the government grant scheme, work to restore the wildlife pond took place in late August. This pond had provided a haven for numerous amphibians, before a puncture to its clay liner saw it dry up completely. The installation of a new synthetic liner should see frogs and newts returning soon.
MEET: Our BMC Ambassador Team
WATCH: Mary-Ann Ochota in Great Walks: Catbells on BMC TV
WATCH: BMC Ambassador Steve McClure on BMC TV