We’re 75! Happy birthday to the BMC

Posted by Peter Burnside on 02/12/2019

We’re celebrating! 75 years ago, from humble beginnings, Geoffrey Winthrop-Young’s vision laid the foundations to create the British Mountaineering Council – one single organisation to represent and speak on behalf of all mountaineers in Britain. And it’s been a wild ride.

From walking all the Wainwrights to climbing all the Whillans’s, from outdoor adventures to indoor competitions, the BMC has grown and evolved to promote and protect the interests of not only mountaineers, but walkers, climbers, ski mountaineers and more. And to celebrate, we’ve cooked up a special treat for all our members. Gifts galore – 75 of them in fact – and the icing on the cake, a fun BMC TV film to entertain you in the evening.

The Big 75 Gifts Giveaway

We’ve gathered together as many goodies from the BMC and our sponsors as we could lay our hands on, and what do you know, there’s 75 of them to give out! The grand prize is a Vango tent from our Recommended Retail Partners Cotswold Outdoor but there’s a huge array of goodies for all types. Mountain literature, hoodies, t-shirts, hats, chalk bags, finger tape, mugs, and a few other big prizes like rucksacks from Montane, Lowe Alpine and Petzl!

To win one of these 75 gifts, all you have to do is answer this question: What’s been your favourite thing about the BMC from the last 75 years?

Answers on a postcard, or email them to: winfreestuff@thebmc.co.uk

Don’t forget to include your membership number with your answer!

All good? Now get your popcorn, sit back and relax while you put this on:

WATCH: 75th Anniversary ascent of Sou’wester Slabs on Arran

“Climbing’s changed. The world’s changed. The BMC has changed. The climate’s changing. But imagine that, you can still go and do Sou’wester Slabs and feel the rock, exactly as it was, 75 years ago. Isn’t climbing amazing?“

To celebrate our 75th birthday, we worked with Dom Bush of Land and Sky Media to create a film that connected modern climbing with our heritage in 1944.

In this short film, Gilly McArthur and Charlie Woodburn head to the wilds of Arran to climb Sou'wester Slabs (VD).

Sou'wester Slabs, featured in the Classic Rock book is a 100-m VD climb on Cir Mhor, Arran. Featuring slab and crack climbing on superb mountain granite, it was first climbed by G H Townsend, G C Curtis, M J H Hawkins and H Hore on 03 September 1944.

“To up that piece of rock, you’re connecting very strongly with the people that first had the experience, because it won’t have changed. What people were doing in 1944 was exactly the same as people are doing today. The past doesn’t separate us, in a way it just brings us together. Just being in this amazing rock world and what this was doing to you as a person.” – Niall Grimes.

WATCH: Join the adventure – Sou'wester Slabs on BMC TV


As Europe is unlocked, BMC travel insurance is loaded with the essential cover that you need for adventure.  

From 10 July, many European destinations are opening up to UK travellers. This means that you can still have your summer adventure – from sport climbing in Spain to trekking in the Alps.

BMC travel insurance comes in five policies: Travel, Trek, Rock, Alpine and Ski and High Altitude.

All of our policies include the following Coronavirus cover:

  • 24-hour emergency assistance helpline
  • £10 million emergency medical cover
  • £100,000 Search, rescue and recovery cover

Please be aware that there is no cover for cancellation, curtailment, delays or journey disruption in any way caused by or resulting from coronavirus / Covid-19. Read more about the Covid-travel FAQs here


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Anonymous User
04/12/2019
Lovely video on the delights of Sou’wester Slabs and Arran. It says some things never change, i.e. the rock. But to start the Old Farts chorus and contrary to a 2018 BMC video on respecting the rock and chalk use, the climbers were chalking up for a V Diff! The granite texture is so rough and clean, that friction with rock boots is still perfect, even in the pouring rain. But thankfully that lovely soft Scottish rain will wash it all away very quickly.
Alan Espie

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