The British climbing federation is changing its name after nearly 72 years as the British Mountaineering Council. The new name, Climb Britain is in response to the changing demographics of the members. Dave Turnbull, chief executive officer at the BMC (Climb Britain) wrote on the organization’s website, “Hill walking, climbing and mountaineering have evolved since the BMC was first established in 1944, and the name ‘Mountaineering Council’ doesn’t quite cut it these days.”
The BMC is the sports federation which organizes the UK climbing team at international climbing events like the World Cups. But unlike its US counterpart, USA Climbing, the BMC also “promote[s] the interests and protect[s] the freedoms” of hill walkers, ice climbers and mountaineers.
Chris Bonington, an 81-year-old BMC Patron and former BMC President, said: “When I started climbing in 1951 there weren’t many climbers, there were just a few clubs, and probably only around five or six specialist retail shops in the country, if that. It was a small community.
“But now, of course, the number of participants has increased hugely and we enjoy our ‘climbing’ in a whole variety of ways. The ‘British Mountaineering Council’ name reflects what the BMC was 50 years ago. It feels heavy and, to a degree, old-fashioned and we are responding accordingly.”
“The spirit of ‘Climb Britain’ is this – go out, climb whatever you enjoy climbing, and enjoy the outdoors in the UK.”
BMC’s new brand will be phased in over the next year, with official launch events at the Kendal Mountain Festival and on December 2nd – the organizations 72nd birthday.
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