BMC Fortnightly Roundup

Here´s the top news from the BMC this fortnight…WHAT´S GOING ON?Backdale inquiry: The fate of Longstone Edge in the Peak District is hanging by a thread.  The 10 day public inquiry into quarrying at Backdale drew to a close this week (28 February).  The outcome is waiting in the wings as the Planning Inspector has up until 18 May to announce his decision.More details Access withdrawn at Eagle Tor: The landowners of this excellent Peak bouldering crag have unfortunately stated to the BMC they are currently not willing to allow access.  The BMC advises climbers to avoid Eagle Tor at present.More info BMC Better Bolts Campaign: In an attempt to improve the terrible state of fixed equipment on many classic routes, the BMC has purchased £10,000 worth of bolts which will be donated to local bolt funds that meet certain criteria.  The closing date for applications is 31 May.More info New bolts guidance: The Bolts Working Group of the BMC technical committee has been hard at work on two new guidance documents.  The first is an Installers Guide for those involved in bolting new routes or re-equipping existing ones. The second is a Users Guide which covers: personal responsibility; a brief history of bolting in the UK; bolt types and placements; and problems to look out for.  Both documents are free to download from the BMC website.More info and here Coastal Access: A Coastal Access Corridor around the whole of England?s coastline is Natural England?s chosen recommendation to government to help improve coastal access.  This recommendation follows months of campaigning by the BMC and other recreational organisations to ensure an open access approach is adopted.  A public consultation is expected to start at the end of March. Cath Flitcroft, BMC Access and Conservation Officer said: ?Natural England?s proposal goes some way to ensuring permanent access to our coastal climbing sites.  It will be interesting to see what the public consultation proposes.  The BMC will certainly be responding.?More info News from the BMC/MCoS International Winter Meet:  A fantastic week has been had up in Scotland, with over 40 international guests teaming up with 30 UK hosts to climb some amazing routes. More info and here United Utilities / Vixen Tor update:  BMC representatives are attending several important meetings over the next few weeks. On 7 March, BMC and Ramblers Association reps are meeting in Plymouth to work out how best to take forward the Vixen Tor access campaign, whilst on 12 March BMC we´re seeing senior United Utilities staff about UU´s plans to charge for access to their land.Climbing Wall Award Scheme:  The BMC has recently submitted a funding application to Sport England requesting support to establish an Climbing Wall Award Scheme (i.e. for instructors) and to develop the National Indoor Climbing Achievement Scheme currently being piloted by the Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC).  Sport England´s decision is expected in 4-5 weeks time.Woodland & Vegetation Management at Crags:  The text and photos for this important new document are now complete and publication is expected in late April.  The document will promote the ecological and recreational benefits of woodland management. It will encourage landowners and conservation bodies to work with the BMC to keep important climbing sites open and accessible.WHAT´S COMING UP?BMC Alpine Essentials ticket offer:  Buy one get one free until 5 March. This series of educational and inspirational talks on Alpine skills and safety awareness will be presented by IFMGA Mountain Guides Steve Long and Chris Dale. The series is sponsored by Ultimate Outdoors and visits six venues between 13 – 22 March.More info BRYCS: Round 1 of the BMC Youth Climbing Series (BRYCS) kicks off on 10 March.  This is the first of 3 rounds in the national climbing championship for 7-15 year olds which will conclude with a national final at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, formerly known as Adventure Centre Ratho, on Saturday 30 June.More info CLIMB 2007: Just two weeks to go to the Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show, featuring BMC CLIMB 2007. The Show takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on 16-18 March.  For the first time ever, the BMC has the honour of hosting the IFSC European Bouldering Championships featuring 100+ of Europe´s best boulderers, including reigning World Champions Salavat Rachmetov and Olga Shalagina.  See the BMC´s new webpages for more information on CLIMB 2007, where live action from the championships will be webcast.  Entry for the championships closes on 5 March so the list of competitors will soon be complete.More info BMC AGM: Book now for the BMC Annual General Meeting which will take place at Plas y Brenin over the weekend 20-22 April.  Pat Littlejohn is standing as BMC Vice-President.  Tickets are available for the annual dinner complete with speeches from the BMC President, CEO and special guest speaker Jim Donini, President of the American Alpine Club. More info Kinder Trespass 75th anniversary:  Plans are in progress to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Kinder Trespass on the weekend of 21-22 April. The weekend will give those gathering in New Mills in Derbyshire the chance to look back at the achievements of the mass trespass in 1932 and also to consider important ongoing issues over access to our countryside.More info