Here is some of the feedback given by climbers attending the BMC international meet in North Wales, earlier this year. Andy Chick: „It was a great week, many barriers were broken and the place was buzzing every night – so many friendships were made in this short week, just think what we could do in six months!“ Derek Walker (ex BMC President): „I´m only sorry I wasn´t there for the whole week! There was a tremendous spirit about, and to see the people with real disabilities perform so incredibly well was a humbling and yet uplifting experience.“ Crag Jones (ex BMC Vice President): ?One aspect of these meets that is very important to me is that the visiting climbers go home with a much clearer understanding of (and often downright enthusiasm for) the adventure climbing ethic. Also, the Eco-Adventure Sports workshop went really well, with a lot of lively discussion and some sound proposals arising out of the work done.? Angela Soper: ?It was a privilege to take part in such a memorable meet ? as usual the event ran superbly and the BMC and Plas y Brenin Staff were excellent. In the future, it would be good to see more attendance at daytime seminars (more people would attend on a wet day!)? Francoise Call: ?For me it was very interesting to be a part of this mix of nationalities, gender, age & experience. It allows people to network in an informal manner (I hate the word network!) and breeds a camaraderie that is one of the most beautiful aspects of our sport.? Steve McClure: ?Excellent trip ? loads of good people and climbing. Hope to come along again some time!? Adam Long: ?Excellent ? (the meet) ran very smoothly with just the right balance of structure and informality.? Les Gorham: ?The meet is an excellent opportunity to learn about climbing in other countries in a relaxed and light-hearted atmosphere ? many new friendships were started!? Shane Ohly: No direct quote, but Shane?s only problem seemed to be getting back from the crag in time for dinner! Some people are just too keen… Pippa Curtis: ?Great job – Thanks for letting me be a part of a fabulous week!? Arta Millere (Latvia) „We have only around 100 climbers in our country, and no organised training or climbing guidelines. Also, are two ethnic groups – Latvian & Russian – with a lot of conflict as thay have different points of view. The biggest threats to the mountain environment in Latvia are garbageabove the snowline, damage to Alpine flora and bolts!“ Terry O´Neill (Ireland) „The factors currently threatening climbing in Ireland include climate change, pollution and user impact, but there is plenty of advice available on how to minimise our impact. There are some access problems, but the MCI is part of a forum that negotiates with other land users and owners“ Lauma Kazusa (Latvia)“It was remarkable to watch how Jamie (Andrew), Jan (Riha) or Mats (Tegner) climbed. I think it will never be possible in Latvia. This is not because we don?t have mountains, but most people in Latvia think if you are not perfectly well (physically) you can´t do things like that – you are just a burden for anybody else“ Ulrike Kiefer (South Africa) „An increase in population and uncontrolled settlements are a threat to the mountain environment in South Africa. Much of the climbing is on private farm land with access constantly under negotiation. National parks require a permit and overnight charges are made. The MCSA also owns a few crags and servitudes. We try very hard to include all ethnic groups, but it is a difficult process in our country““Seeing how much inspiration one can get from meeting with other climbers of different backgrounds, I will try to establish international climbing meets here in SA!“ Kate Finnerty (New Zealand) „Helicopter sight seeing flights are an increasing problem in NZ, creating massive noise pollution. We are very lucky in that there are few access restrictions and plenty of courses available for those who want to learn to climb. I had a fantastic week at the heart of British climbing (trad-style), it´s what Britain is famous for!“ Barabara Kreijtz (Netherlands) „In the Netherlands we are required to buy permits and special insurance in order to climb and to preserve and develop access agreements. We are constantly working to change this situation and encourage young and mixed-ability climbers“ Antti Joensu (Finland) „There are many mountains in Finland, and climbing is still such a small sport there you can go climbing almost anywhere. There are no access restrictions and no permits or insurance required. I found it amazing to see how people of different backgrounds and abilities enjoyed climbing together at the meet!“ Ruslan Vakrilov (Bulgaria) „We had so many wonderful experiences and such a great time – I did a V7, my best ever. I´m so happy!“ „The facilities were exceptional, the hosts enthusiastic and the weather great! I battle to quantify what I as an individual gain from such meets: it´s such an all- encompassing experience that to highligh individual areas can seem quite unfair!“ Mats Tegner (Sweden) „Disabled climbers are not well represented in Sweden, in fact Anita (Rosten) told me I might be the only one! I enjoyed the meet very much and even consider visiting Wales again on my own someday“Mats climbed the following routes, despite suffering from the effects of cerebral palsy: Slab Direct (Holyhead Mtn) V Diff, Oberon(Tremadog) Severe, abd Tennis Shoe (Idwal)HS Jamie Andrew (UK) „I don?t have any particular comments to make except that I for one had a brilliant week. Thank you very much!“ Despite loosing both hands an feet to frostbite, Jamie climbed the following routes: Hope (Ogwen) V Diff, Lazarus Severe, Pel (top pitch) VS, Christmas Curry (Tremadog)Sev, One Step in the Clouds (Tremadog) VS, Slab & Rib (Creag Dhu) V Diff, Valerie´s Rib HS, Bloody Chimney VS.
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