International Meet – Update

Here´s the BMC Press Release for the meet: One of the UK?s major international climbing events has just taken place in beautiful North Wales, and all concerned were in agreement that the fourth event of its kind was possibly the most successful ever! In the spirit of strengthening international relations, the BMC welcomed climbers of every conceivable ability, age, cultural origin and social background to this spectacular mountain area. Forty-four guests from twenty-eight countries worldwide were teamed with hosting British climbers to share their knowledge and sample the varied and unique rock climbing on offer in the area. The climbers also participated in discussions on sustainable development of mountain environments, social integration between visitors and residents and breaking barriers between groups of differing cultures, abilities and backgrounds. Taking advantage of unusually fine weather and a perfect venue, each of the climbers was able to fulfil personal goals whilst gaining experience, knowledge, and new friends (in the past, meetings at the event have led to some of the strongest climbing teams ever seen). More importantly, the intrinsic nature of climbing as a sport allowed them to help each other do this together – far from creating any sort of barrier (as so often in everyday life), the diversity of the group in terms of gender, age, race and ability positively increased the amount the climbers had to offer each other, enriching the experience immeasurably. It would be impossible to list all the outstanding achievements that occurred during the meet, but a few deserve a special mention and reflect the whole ethos and intent behind the event: · Jamie Andrew of the UK (a quadruple amputee who recently ran the London marathon) climbing on Tremadog, Castell Helen (Anglesey) and Idwal Slabs.· Mats Tegner (Sweden) climbing the famous route ?Tennis Shoe? at Idwal, despite suffering from the debilitating effects of cerebral palsy.· Christoph Finkel from Germany ascending ?Beginners Mind? and ?Statement of Youth? ? two of the hardest rock climbs in the UK.· Davoud Salimabadi (Iran) climbing over 20 routes during the week, regardless of the loss of his right leg, eye and ear to a landmine in 1996.· Hunza Riha (who is totally blind and unable to speak English) climbing spectacular and difficult routes on complex sea-cliffs and inland crags.· Ivan German (Spain) climbing some of the all time hard classic routes of the area· Tristan Firman of South Africa leading others up rock climbs despite a birth defect that left him with a severely withered arm and hand. Dave Musgrove (BMC President), himself suffering the loss of fingers in an accident five years ago had this to say ? ?The achievements I witnessed last week were truly inspirational. The effort, enthusiasm and dedication of our disabled guests left many of our best and most experienced British climbers reeling in disbelief. The event cemented relationships and friendships that will last a lifetime, and showed how truly inclusive climbing and mountaineering are as sports for all ages, cultures and abilities.? The enormous success of the meet is particularly welcome this year in an area economically and socially ravaged by the FMD crisis in 2001, providing much needed economic support and press exposure to a recovering mountain tourism industry.Thanks to the BMC