First things first, how you vote, is entirely your decision, and I encourage you to read the documents attached on each item at the top of the voting card. If you disagree with me on how to vote, then that's fine! However, if, like me, you...
On Friday last week, 2nd March, we handed over to the BMC, our work on the independent Organisational Review Group. The final report was an amended recommendations report, following a 3 month consultation on our initial report in November. As of last Friday, the ORG as a body, was disbanded, and its members, now well versed in the complexities of the BMC, are back to their respective roles, or are simply just back to being BMC members.
Since April the BMC Organisational Review Group has worked collectively for thousands of hours, sent thousands of emails, written a 40k word report with 51 recommendations, gathered the views of over 4500 BMC members, spoken to c. 25 partner organisations and stakeholders, launched a further consultation, and done a tour of England and Wales presenting the report at local area meetings, to over 400 BMC members.
The week in Chamonix began by getting caught in a storm, and ended the same way. The first one expected, the second one less so, but sandwiched in the middle was a couple of peaks that will make the week a memorable one.
Some obscure routes and some classics: El Niño, Madame Rêve, Digital Crack and République Bananière.
Back in March, just before the AGM I wrote about the motion of no confidence raised against the British Mountaineering Council (BMC). Of course, the motion was defeated, but the BMC was, and is, under a period of potential reform.
A six part yoga for climbers video series in partnership with Epic TV, Prana and the Depot Climbing Centre Manchester.
Each episode is 10 minutes, so you can do the standalone sessions as a great pre-climb warm up, or post climb cool down, mix and match sessions to create a climber specific workout, or complete the full series as an hour long challenging yoga session specifically tailored to climber's needs. Enjoy!
In the last year the BMC has faced a torrid time; the Climb Britain u-turn, and now a potential 40% Sport England funding cut, a proposed Alpine Club Special General Meeting and a guerilla 'vote of no confidence'. Is this a storm in a teacup, is the board "betraying" the members, or are these all just red herrings?
There was a list of four routes on Heather's fridge (the fridge list). Three weren't in condition after the recent storms in Chamonix, so that left one: Etat du Choc on the Petit Clocher du Portalet. My french brain didn't seem to be on form after a long week of work and I'd forgotten that this route translates as State of Shock, and not some sweeter alternative. That said the line, after a good few hours of upward fighting up a 9 pitch off-width was definitely worthy of being on the fridge list, and the north face of the Portalet is quite possibly the best face of granite in region.
There's not much left to say about the quality of climbing at Fairhead festival that hasn't already been said. Perfect weather, perfect rock and perfect company from 500 friends from across the climbing community who came together for a weekend on one of the best crags in the world. After crushing most of the crag, including a flash of The Dark Side (E8 6c), Alex Honnold delivered a sold-out lecture in a cow-shed on the Saturday night.
I'd recommended the line of The Dark Side to Jordan Buys the previous day, and eager to take up the recommendation Jordan threw a rope down the huge 55m pitch as I climbed Jolly Roger on the perpendicular wall. As I was topping out, having plugged my entire rack into the route, I could see my belayer 55m below, slightly distracted by Alex Honnold who was heckling the amount of gear I'd placed and clearly engaging my belayer more than my bumbling about on an E3!