BMC Stanage Shindig in Sheffield

by Mick Ryan Ron Townsend The well received BMC Stanage guidebook got its official launch on Friday night at the Harlequin Pub in Sheffield. Although it has been available for a few weeks now and has got excellent reviews (read the reviews here), Friday nights event was a way to get the BMC guidebook team together to celebrate its publication. Niall Grimes, seen here signing guidebooks, was indeed the guest of honour and he was thanked by Dave Turnbull, BMC CEO, for his hardwork and creativity and Dave presented Niall with an iron so that he can press his crumpled trousers and look the part of a high flying publishing and design executive, now that the BMC publication schedule is well under way. Ian Carr, manager of the BMC guidebook commitee gave a run down of the next gritstone guides due for publication in the BMC series which are all imminent, including the difficult Peak limestone series which should hopefully see the light of day in 2010. Dave Gregory, who has been climbing on Stanage since the 1950´s and involved with BMC guidebooks since that time told some tales of Stanage past. As you can see here he kept the crowd entertained. Also present was Ron Townsend who did such Stanage first ascents as Via Media, Townsend´s Variation, Gargoyle Buttress and Narrow Buttress way back in 1949 and who, with his wife Madge formed the Peak Climbing Club in 1940. You can see Ron here, signing a guidebook!. Guidebooks were swopped and autographs traded, even the authors of the ´other´ Peak grit guides were in attendance including the one and only Chris Craggs seen here adding an inscription to a Stanage guidebook, proving that all the guidebook producers in the UK are part of one big happy climbing family. Steve “Offwidth” Clark, champion of the lower grades and Gritstone Troglodyte specialist was in attendance seen here here exchanging intimate glances with Dave Turnbull. From the candid photograph I think it maybe love! The evening was rounded off with delicious curry, a few pints of ale and lively banter. Everyone is now motivated to get the rest of the BMC guidebook series out in a similar style and the same high standards set by the recent Roaches, Burbage and Stanage BMC guidebooks.