Cornish BMC International Meet

I just attended my fifth BMC International Meet, and my third in Cornwall based at the Climbers’ Club Count House hut. These meets are an amazing opportunity for over thirty climbers from all over the world to come to the UK to sample some of what makes our world class traditional climbing so special. Plus of course it gives over thirty UK hosts a chance to show these special climbs off to the world, share some traditional climbing skills with people who may have never climbed with leader placed protection before, and have a right good knees up! The meet is fully catered – so the seventy odd climbers on the meet don’t have to lift a finger to look after themselves, we just go climbing … a lot! The catering is managed by the very able Peters family, this year led by the seemingly perpetually happy Daisy. Thanks to Daisy, Tom, Iain, and their many helpers for looking after us. ๐Ÿ˜€

The weather on two days, Monday and Tuesday, was less than perfect. But every other day was mega. More climbing, hard climbing in an awful lot cases, gets done on these days than most people are used to. My shoulders, three days after getting home, are still sore.

I got to climb with three great people over the week: Alice Thompson from New Zealand; Diego Dellai from Italy; and Michal Czech from Poland.

In my rush to leave the house before the meet I forgot my camera. This is a great shame as the opportunity missed to get some photos for the forthcoming south coast climbing guidebook is sad. But even worse is the fact that I don’t have many pictures of the great memories and new friends from the meet. However, here are a few I snapped with my smartphone…

Alice Thompson (New Zealand) – actually she was an imposter as she’s lived in Manchester for a couple of years
Scott Titt and Stephen Farrugia (Malta) at Sennen on one of the two damp days
Pete and Michal Czech (Poland) after climbing Desolation Row in the Great Zawn
Sandra Mazeikiene (Lithuania), Alice Thompson (New Zealand), Diego Dellai (Italy), Boel Aniansson (Sweden), and Sayaka Masumoto (Japan) at Carn Kenidjack
Diego Dellai (Italy), Sandra Mazeikiene (Lithuania), Paul Seabrook, and Pete enjoying a post-climb pint in St Just

BMC 2017 AGM

The 2017 BMC AGM was held on the 22nd April at Plas y Brenin, coincidentally Earth Day (more on that later).

The AGM promised to be an extraordinarily complex event with two major motions on the agenda including a motion of no confidence in the BMC executive. Perhaps it was these issues, and the CC’s campaign to get its members to provide their proxy vote to the club’s president, that led to what I think might be the CC’s biggest ever proxy vote…

Steve proud to have 96 proxy votes at the 2017 BMC AGM

As it turned out the motion of no confidence was heavily defeated. However, at the end of the AGM Rehan Siddiqui resigned as BMC President. He stated that he was resigning due to the level of personal attacks, which were impacting on his family and business. The damage, pain and suffering caused by the daft motion is really sad. I reckon most in the room (including me) were crying when Rehan resigned. But I think the strength of the BMC is probably proven along with people’s love of what it does for us all…

After the AGM, which finished a little late but still early enough to get out in the sunshine, we headed off to the Milestone Buttress. Steve and Ted enjoyed the Superdirect route. Laetitia and I decided to follow. However, perhaps the emotional events of the day were in my mind and I managed to slip off the starting polished footholds. Having not yet placed any gear I plummeted maybe three metres to the ground! It could have been very serious, maybe fatal. Luckily it was just a case of being winded, a little embarrassed, and knocked about. I got back on and was fine, if a bit shaky. Anyway, that’s what happened on my Earth Day!

Steve doing a much better job on Superdirect at the Milestone Buttress

Sunday was a fine day too! So after the BMC National Council meeting in the morning Fiona and I joined Laetitia, Steve, and Keith in Australia in the Welsh slate quarries for some more climbing. It does Make a BMC business day far nicer to also squeeze in some climbing! Sorry there’s no pictures though.

Finally, here’s a shot of the gang on route back north after a day on the Welsh slate…

Steve, Zac, Pete, Fiona, Scamp, and Keith enjoying fish and chips in Conwy on the way home after a sunny weekend of BMC business and climbing in North Wales

Chamonix CC & Birthday Skiing

Last week we were visiting Chamonix for a week of winter sports. We weren’t sure the skiing would be up to much as this year as there has been very little snow. So we had prepared for what might be ideal alpine winter climbing conditions. However, as it turned out there was a large dump of snow over the first weekend of our trip, and there is nothing that beats skiing fresh powder! More “Chamonix CC & Birthday Skiing”

Kendal Mountain Festival ’14

Last weekend was the Kendal Mountain Festival, the biggest event of its type in the world! Laetitia and I often work as volunteers at the festival, however, this year I asked my boss for the weekend – Andy Perkins – to only give me a small number (1) of presenting jobs as we had our friends, Rebecca and Mathias, visiting. Rebecca and Mathias had finally succumbed to my endless enthusiasm for Kendal and had made the journey all the way from Germany to sample the madness that is the world’s most attended festival of all things mountain…

Open-air opening ceremony of the Kendal Mountain Festival
Andy Perkins presenting the open-air opening ceremony of the Kendal Mountain Festival on Kendal’s main shopping street – Strickland Gate

I always think the KMF Trailer is one of the best bits of film at the festival, it captures the mood, excitement, and of course some of the best moments from a select few of the films…

We had a full house for the festival as we also had Mark Vallance and Anna and Ian staying with us. So this year it was an especially busy and entertaining long weekend for us! ๐Ÿ˜€

On Thursday Rebecca, Mathias, and I went up to Tarn Hows for a look around and a short walk to appreciate the views across to Langdale and the Coniston fells. It was pretty moody weather as you can see below. Then on Friday the weather was still dry so Mathias and I enjoyed more of the Lakeland landscape by squeezing in a quick scramble up Jack’s Rake on Pavey Ark before nipping over to Harrison Stickle and on down for lunch at the Stickle Barn.

Rebecca and Mathias at Tarn Hows
Rebecca and Mathias enjoying a wine-gum (or two) at Tarn Hows looking towards Wetherlam

Of course the main event is really the craziness of the festival’s main day, Saturday. With over a hundred films in the competition I can only imagine how hard (and at times fatiguing) the judge’s job is to select the winners. But for me the main attraction is the massive gathering of fellow outdoor enthusiasts, the networking opportunities, and the fringe events like the BMC’s lunchtime presentation and Glenfiddich’s whisky tasting…

Scott Titt talks BMC
Scott Titt talks “BMC” with Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Dave Turnbull, and John Ellison waiting their turn to speak…
Dozens of glasses of Glenfiddich Whisky
Dozens of glasses of Glenfiddich Whisky ready to be tasted… :yum: :yum:

Nuclear dump threatens Lakes

The BMC are encouraging their membership to stand up be counted by signing the No Nuclear Dump In The Lake District e-petition. I’ve already done so, which is super easy to do, so please consider adding your name to help protect this…

Eskdale

The Lake District is one of the most beautiful places in our country, if not the world, and an environment enjoyed by many millions of people every year. Sellafield nuclear site, on the west coast, has been part of the Cumbrian economy for decades and nobody wants to harm that industry and the jobs it brings. However, the decision to explore the development of an underground store under the fells could be a disaster for tourism and the District. The government and local councils are pressing ahead with these plans, incentivised by a โ€œcommunity benefits packageโ€ for the area, against significant evidence [Nirex’s 1997 Refused Plans, Friends of the Earth, Cumbria’a unsuitability, Save our Lake District, Radiation Free Cumbria] about the areas unsuitability.

Stand up and be counted: sign the e-petition, and contact your MP! :angry:

Cornish BMC International Meet

I’ve been to the past two BMC International Meets held in North Wales at Plas y Brenin. They were great! So the chance to take part in my third meet was not to be missed, especially as it was taking place at the CC’s hut in Cornwall – the Count House at Bosigran

Cornwall doesn’t offer quite as many climbing options as North Wales, particularly in poor weather. But, is the weather ever poor in Cornwall? Despite the occasionally cold north wind, and a few showers, we climbed every day! ๐Ÿ˜› The flexibility offered by the Count House accommodation combined with world-class traditional climbing provided for a unique week.

Here are a sample of pictures that I hope capture the amazing week’s events…

A first, the BMC and Climbers' Club team up to delivery a fantastic sea-cliff climbing international meet
Craig Harwood and I travelled down to Cornwall together and grabbed a few routes at Bosigran on Sunday before the international guests arrived
Pat Littlejohn, Iain Peters, Becky McGovern, and Dave Turnbull kick off the Cornish Sea-Cliff Climbing BMC International Meet
Inbar from Israel Israel enjoying the sun at Chair Ladder
We also visited Bosigran and Gurnard's Head together
Jiri from the Czech Republic Czech on The Spire (E3) with Andy Stotesbury belaying, and
Pete on Bishop's Rib (E1) with Inbar belaying.
By the end of the week Jiri was on-sighting E6! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
Sinisa from Croatia Croatia (left) at the BBQ.
'Sin' and I enjoyed two excellent days of climbing at Carn Kenidjack, Sennen, and Bosigran
Krzysztof (centre with the 'hair') - from Poland Poland - and I debated long and hard about what constituted a 'wall' as opposed to a 'slab'; he thought Cornwall only had slabs and roofs...
Iain Peters, in charge of the BBQ and all Count House facilities (accommodation, catering, etc.)
Sunset outside the Count House, complete with BMC marquee (mess-tent)
Masses of UK host's tents outside the Count House at Bosigran in West Penwith
Erik from Belgium Belgium following Desolation Row (E2) in the Great Zawn
Erik and I also visited Bosigran, St Loy, and Whirlpool Zawn
BMC Meet UK Hosts and International Guests gathered at Zennor Village Hall for dinner and the final night celebrations

:star: A fantastic success – dare I say even better than Wales! ๐Ÿ˜€ :star:
Lets hope the BMC and the CC team up again, perhaps next time at Ynys Ettws for (probably) the best climbing and the best accommodation option in the world…

BMC Lakes Festival of Climbing

This weekend was the BMC supported Lakes Festival of Climbing in the Duddon Valley. Unfortunately the weather forecast looked a little dodgy. However, Saturday dawned quite bright, and despite a few spots of rain on the windshield driving over to the Duddon Valley, it was dry when we got there. It did mean the high Lakeland crags would be damp though, so combined with the late start we all (Richard, Paul, Anna, Ian, Laetitia, and I) agreed on the reliable Wallowbarrow crag. Amazingly, with the festival in the valley, this popular crag was almost deserted when we got there. I guess the morning rain showers had kept people in their tents? It did of course get steadily busier as the day went on.

We did a few routes in the glorious summer sunshine at Wallowbarrow, including Marilyn, a tricky HVS that I reckon might warrant notching up a grade… Later after we’d finished Grey Wall (a nice, un-starred, but star deserving E1) we noticed a leader falling from the crux of Marilyn! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Marilyn

After a spell of sun bathing on the rocks at the bottom Wallowbarrow we retired to the campsite at Turner Hall Farm to get our ยฃ1.50 BMC vouchers towards our dinner at the Newfield Inn. ๐Ÿ™‚ Everyone was there, well okay nowhere near “everyone” … but mostly! ๐Ÿ˜› Remembering that this was a BMC event, there were loads of non-climbers there too; walkers, skiers, anyone interested in mountains really…

Martin Kocsis manning the BMC bacon butty stall!
Martin Kocsis manning the BMC bacon butty stall!

Sunday was another stunning day. But we were tired (and a little hung-over), so the short approach to Black Crag Wrynose was selected. Quite a few E-points were scored by the amassed team on Glass Slipper and Yellow Wall, but mostly we enjoyed the hot weather with awesome Lakeland views in every direction. It would have been a good day for Esk Buttress or Scafell, if it hadn’t been for those hangovers and the strong wind that developed in the late afternoon.

Ian at Black Crag
Ian at Black Crag
Paul and Richard on Glass Slipper
Paul and Richard on Glass Slipper

A brilliant weekend, rounded off by a trip the Chesters – a top rate (we are talking better than Chamonix patisserie top rate) tea and cake venue at Skelwith Bridge! ๐Ÿ˜‰