BMC News Roundup

BMC News Round Up Access and Conservation The CRoW Act has landed Introduction of the new statutory right of ?open access? provided by the Countryside and Rights of Way  (CRoW) Act 2000 has begun.  The Act came into force in the first two areas (the south east, and the lower north west) on Sunday 19th September.  This will mean improved access for climbers and walkers to places such as the Trough of Bowland in Lancashire and Bamford Edge in the Peak District.  The new statutory rights of access will be introduced to all other areas of England and Wales by the end of 2005.  The BMC website contains a section about aspects of the CRoW Act which affect climbers and walkers. Langdale Boulders Recent media coverage of the prehistoric rock carvings on the Langdale Boulders, also known as Copt Howe and Chapel Stile, has created some controversy about potential damage by climbers to these cup and ring markings.  The boulders have been climbed on for decades with no harm to the markings, and English Heritage, the official body for safeguarding such features, holds the view that climbing on the boulders is not likely to significantly damage the carvings.  The importance of the markings is noted on the BMC Regional Access Database, which asks that climbers refrain from climbing on the face of the lower boulder which faces uphill towards the upper boulder and the road.  This face contains only one boulder problem, and as such is not a significant loss. Roaches and Hen Cloud ? The Roaches litter pick held on a glorious Sunday in September was an unmitigated success ? see the report on UKClimbing BMC Areas Forum, and photos at The BMC have been given the ?green light? by the Peak District National Park Authority to install discrete diversionary wooden fencing to conserve an area of degrading footpath below the ?Mauds Garden? area of the Roaches Upper Tier.In addition, we are also working on proposals to conserve/regenerate the Lower-Tier climax coniferous woodland and will also be supplying volunteers for tree thinning work – encouraging growth in the mature oak woodland below Hen Cloud. Crag Access Updates ? Holcombe Quarry ? Local activists and the BMC access rep. John Baker, continue to try and resolve the previously reported access problems. ? Avon and Cheddar Access Rep. ? For the purposes of access and conservation, this region has now been divided into 2 areas with a dedicated BMC access rep. serving each.  John Baker will continue his valued work in the Cheddar and Somerset area, and Steve Findlay has been recruited as the new rep. to specifically cover issues in Avon and Bristol. ? High Rocks ? Following a constructive meeting (over a pint in the ?Junction?), the BMC has formulated a number of ideas to address the issue of the recently implemented £5 climbing fee and encroaching vegetation.Martin Brice (Tunbridge Wells MC) will be approaching the landowner with a number of proposals on the fee situation, and Oliver Hill has put together a comprehensive plan of the conservation work required to improve climbing conditions at the crag. The conservation work is subject to a bid to the Access and Conservation Trust and also the identification of other local funding partners. ? Markfield Quarry ? Updated information has been added to The Regional Access Database. ? Harpur Hill ? The previously reported access difficulties appear to have ceased ? it is thought the landowner has returned to his Channel Islands tax haven for another year! ? Shooters Nab and West Nab ? Low-key access to these crags by local climbers has been historically tolerated by the land-owning shooting clubs. However, with CRoW Act implementation, new restrictions apply to the land between crags due to the ?fall of shot? safety zone. For the full details of the complexities of this case please call the BMC office. ? Shining Clough/Rollick Stones ? The traditionally enjoyed access point from the track at Skew Bridge is no longer permitted by the new landowner (who is prone to conflict and occasionally violent aggravation). The BMC will continue to make representation through the official channels of the Peak LAF. Fortunately, easy access to the crag and surrounding moorland from Longdendale Trail still exists ? beside the reservoir, from the car park at the obvious bend in the road.  In accordance with the duty placed upon the access authority, exclusions will be for the ?least restrictive option?. Therefore, when clay pigeon shooting is occurring (more than three times a week) a red flag system will operate.? Hawks Stones (A.K.A Hugencroft) ? The big news from Yorkshire is the opening up of this ?holy grail? of gritstone crags due to CRoW Act implementation.The preferred access route to the crag (from the pub car park) has been defined and accepted by the landowner and by Calderdale District Council, and has also been publicised on the web.  On-site stiles and an advice sign for climbers have been installed with Access and Conservation Trust funds, and many climbers have been enjoying the first visits to the crag since the current landowner famously banned climbing in the late 1960?s.? White Scar ? Negotiations with a representative of the landowners? parish council will continue. ? Crag Side ? Due to the visibility of the crag from a historic house, the landowners (National Trust) are strongly opposed to the bouldering currently occurring.The BMC is continuing to work on resolving this situation. ? Esklets ? Access problems continue at this remote North Yorkshire Moors venue, with climbers recently being chased off by a farmer with a shotgun!  The BMC is currently trying to contact the climbers in question with a view to producing a written statement and detailing events to the police. The BMC Regional Access Database (RAD) contains details of all known crags in England and Wales where access issues have been reported, and where special arrangements reply – Competition Climbing   Perkins Slade BRYCS 2004 Sunderland Wall was the venue in September for the National Final of this year?s British Regional Youth Competition Series.  136 climbers who had qualified from regional heats held over the summer competed in three age categories. In the 7-9yrs category, Lily Rosengard (London & SE) won the Girls event, and Tom Middlemas (NE & Lakes) the Boys.  Scotland South provided both winners in the 10-12yrs category, Natalie Berry taking the Girls event and Deb Banerji the Boys.  Hazel Findlay (South West) and Katy Whittaker (Peak) couldn?t be separated in the Girls 13-15 category.  Both girls topped out on a superfinal route and shared first place.  Tyler Landman (London & SE), who earlier in the month had scored a 6th place in the World Youth Championships at Ratho, won the Boys 13-15yrs category. In the Team event, whereby the highest seven scorers from each region were counted, the Peak came out on top, ahead of North East & Lakes and North West. Full results can be viewed on the BMC website at The BMC would like to thank the many volunteers, without whom the event would not be possible, Petzl, Beal, Tiso, and HB Equipment for provision of prizes, and Perkins Slade for sponsoring the event.   Bouldering World Cup, China On the same weekend that the Formula One circus came to Shanghai for the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix, the first ever UIAA-ICC Bouldering World Cup climbing competition to be held in China was staged in Huzhou, about 200 kilometres west of Shanghai.  Whilst World Champion Michael Schumacher was battling from the back of the grid to finish 12th, the British Team comprising Gareth Parry, Mark Croxall and Andy Earl were competing in the final event of the 2004 series.  Gareth took 9th place, with Mark in 16th and Andy 23rd, which meant that they finished 8th, 13th and 14th respectively in the overall World Cup standings for 2004.  This year?s men?s World Cup champion is Daniel Dulac of France.  Sandrine Levet completed a double for France by winning the women?s championship.  Full results can be viewed on the International Council for Competition Climbing website at Gareth, Mark and Andy now have a few months to prepare for the A5 British Bouldering Championships, the first round of which takes place on 22nd January at Boulder UK, Blackburn. BICC ?04/05 The first round of this year?s British Indoor Climbing Championships takes place on Saturday 6th November at the Welsh International Climbing Centre in Trelewis.  New for this year are Youth and Veterans categories.  The dates, venues and categories are; Saturday 6th November  WICC, Trelewis   Junior & Senior Saturday 13th November Westway, London  Junior & Youth Saturday 4th December  Awesome Walls, Liverpool Senior & Veterans Saturday 11th December Leeds Wall, Leeds  Junior & Senior Reigning Junior Champions Tom Bolger and Katie Hill are now too old to defend their titles, but will be able to compete in both the Youth and Senior categories.  Reigning Senior Female Champion Rosie Shaw can defend her title and try for the Youth Championship.  For any climbers considering the Veterans category, you?ll be relieved to know that Steve McClure, the reigning Senior Male Champion and one of the world?s leading climbers, is not quite old enough to be eligible. Go to for registration forms and details about the format, grades, prizes, etc. Pre-registration is not compulsory, but registering on the day will incur a surcharge. Youth BMC Child Protection Policy As part of the implementation of our Child Protection Policy, the BMC office hosted a Child Protection Awareness Training session for Area Youth Co-ordinators, those involved with the junior competition climbing teams, and others responsible for implementing the Policy.  We plan to hold similar sessions in other regions in the future. Youth Meets 2005 The BMC also hosted a one-day training course for those involved in the organisation of BMC outdoor events.  For the last six years, the Fell and Rock Climbing Club has run a weekend meet in the Lake District specifically for young people who already have experience of climbing indoors and want to make the big step to outdoor climbing. The BMC wishes to encourage other climbing clubs to run similar meets in 2005.  If you would like to know more about what is involved in staging a youth meet, there is an article in Summit 35, the Autumn 2004 issue, which can be viewed on the BMC website, where you can also view the BMC Child Protection Policy guidelines.  Alternatively, you can contact Nick Colton at the BMC.  We are in the process of producing guidelines on running events involving young people, and they will be available on the website in due course. Training Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust Winter Courses 2005Based in the Cairngorms during January 2005, the two-day SCOTTISH WINTER MOUNTAINEERING COURSES bridge the gap between summer climbing/walking and winter mountaineering.The courses cover; ? the use of crampons and ice axes ? belaying and rope work ? avalanche assessment? and other topics related to winter mountaineering.These activities are aimed mainly at young people, and are staffed by qualified instructors, usually members of the British Association of Mountain Guides.  The trust´s subsidy reduces the cost to approximately one third of the normal rate.See the Events section of the BMC website at for further information and application forms, or call the BMC office on 0870 010 4878.  Completed applications must be received at the BMC office by no later than Friday 12 November 2004. Events The State of British Climbing The first two open meetings in the national debate on the State of British Climbing were held in late September, at the Rockface in Birmingham and the Heights in Llanberis. At the Birmingham meeting a panel consisting of Gary Gibson, Andy Kirkpatrick, Niall Grimes, Mark Vallance and BMC Midlands Area Chair discussed a range of issues with local climbers, including the popularity of indoor climbing, conservation concerns at honeypot crags, fixed equipment maintenance, the perceived lack of low-grade sportclimbs, the popularity of bouldering, and the effects of the CRoW Act. In Llanberis, some of the same issues came up, along with BMC representation in Wales, and guidebooks.  The panel included Pat Littlejohn, Nick Dixon, Simon Panton, Mark Vallance, and was chaired by John Horscroft.  The BMC would like to thank the Beacon Climbing Centre, DMM, Joe Brown, and V12 Outdoor for contributing to the beer fund. Thanks also to the Rockface and the Heights for hosting the meetings. The BMC also hosted an open meeting in Skipton at the beginning of October, to debate the issues of retro-bolting and fixed equipment replacement on Yorkshire limestone. For more on the national debate and a summary of the Yorkshire limestone debate, see BMC Winter Lecture Series, in partnership with Lowe Alpine Who knows what sort of winter weather we?re going to have?  Even the experts can?t agree whether we?re heading for an ice age or a meltdown.  However, two experts who know all about mountaineering in the UK are IFMGA Mountain Guides Martin Moran and Mike ?Twid? Turner, and they will be dispensing advice on the skills and equipment required to get the most out of your winter experience. Tuesday 9th November  Birmingham Wednesday 10th November Bath Thursday 11th November London Tuesday 16th November  Newcastle Wednesday 17th November  Nottingham Thursday 18th November Manchester All lectures will start at 6.45pm and run until approximately 9-9.30pm.  Tickets are now available from the BMC office. Further details on the Events section of the BMC website – Kendal Mountain Film Festival Once again Kendal is playing host to one of the most prestigious mountain festivals in the world, and the massive programme of films, lectures, seminars and entertainment continues to grow.  See the Festival website for event and ticket information ? One of the highlights of the Festival is the Cutting Edge of British Mountaineering Lectures, a joint presentation by the MEF (Mount Everest Foundation) and the BMC of a series of lectures on recent expeditions which have received MEF/BMC support.  The lectures will take place on the morning of Saturday 20th November at the Kendal Leisure Centre, starting at 9.30am.  This year?s line-up includes; ? Ben Bransby?s successful expedition to Patagonia ? Stephen Reid?s East Greenland expedition to the Stauning Alps ? Graham Little and Jim Lowther?s expedition to Western Lahul, Himachel Pradesh ? Sam Chinnery and Andy Sharp?s new route on Mount Dickey in Alaska ? John Bracey and Rich Cross?s new route on Mount Kennedy in Canada?s Yukon In addition, Satya Dam will talk about exploration in the incredible Padmanabh and Teram areas of the eastern Karakorum, which still have many unclimbed peaks above 7000m and are some of the least explored areas in the Indian Himalaya. Membership BMC Membership Survey As part of the BMC Future Policy Review, which was initiated in July 2003, the BMC recently sent out 3000 questionnaires to a 50/50 mix of club and individual members.  Members were asked to give their views on the membership package, civil liability insurance, the BMC?s work, subscriptions, the AGM voting structure, and the BMC Area structure. We received an excellent response rate of 31%, and preliminary results can be viewed on the BMC website at For information on the Future Policy Review, go to BMC Area Meetings Dates for the the November/December round of area meetings; Lake District  Friday 12th November  7.30pm, Penrith North West  Monday 22nd November  7.30pm, Manchester London & South East Tuesday 23rd November  7.00pm, London Midlands  Thursday 25th November 7.30pm, Hinckley North East  Monday 15th November  7.30pm, Dunston Peak District  Thursday 2nd December  7.15pm, Froggatt Wales    Saturday 20th November time & venue tbc Yorkshire  Monday 22nd November  7.00pm, Leeds For more information, see the BMC website at The Area Meetings are open to non-members and BMC members.