BAIML descends on the alpine paradise of Chamonix

Posted by Peter Burnside on 20/12/2016
Ski touring on the BAIML AGM. Photo: Kirsty Brien

Who needs snow to have fun? With sunny and icy conditions in Chamonix, creativity on a range of eclectic workshops proved key at the 2016 British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML) annual general meeting (AGM). Anne Arran, president of the BAIML, tells us how it went.

Despite the lack of snow, much fun was had on the huge variety of workshops put on to give members attending this year's BAIML AGM an insight into what it can mean to be an International Mountain Leader (IML). Some sessions were to refresh existing skills and others to offer new skills not available within the normal working remit of an IML such as ski touring. 

IMLs can lead groups of walkers in the mountains all over the world and opportunities reach far and wide, from the Tour du Mont Blanc and the Inca Trail to Everest Base Camp and the jungles of Borneo, it's up to you where you take it. 

Hosted at the UCPA, over 100 BAIML members attending the 2016 AGM could take their pick from a top selection of continual professional development providers. A pub quiz assembled the masses in the Micro Brasserie de Chamonix with a tricky quiz hosted by Ian Chapman to sharpen the mind before embracing the CPD. 

Outdoor options included snowshoeing, avalanche safety, winter environment, ski touring, fat biking and advanced and introductory GPS with Rick Shearer who incidentally has a book coming out soon. Rick dazzled us repeatedly with his encyclopaedic knowledge of GPS on the advanced course and maintained an uncanny ability to tell you what to do next on any device, in any circumstance. The ski touring proved a little adventurous as a first ski tour for some and had an element of type two fun with spectacular views.


The fat biking workshop looked great fun. Photo: Iain Afshar

Many sessions were also based indoors too including high Language skills and altitude medicine with Dr Jon Dallimore, Diploma in Mountain Medicine, Editor of the Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine.

Just prior to the AGM itself, we had the great pleasure to welcome Montane as a sponsor and saw their dynamic presentation and a structured approach to working together with BAIML in the future. Lightweight without compromise was the message. Winner of the Montane photography competition was Kelvyn James with his moody scene hashtag “further, faster”. Kirsty Brien topped up the photographic action with an additional photo wall showing some creativity and a range of images.


The winning shot of the Montane photography competition. Photo: Kelvyn James

Thanks should go to all those involved in organising different aspects of the AGM and at different times including Tanya Perret, Kelvyn James, Ian Spare, Simon Hale, Kev Sidford, other Board members and all the CPD providers. The collective enthusiasm was felt as people hit the bar after the meeting and then some even – or perhaps not surprisingly – moved onto Chamonix clubbing. 

It was great to see Andy Perkins there representing the British Mountain Guides and Corinna Parry from MTUK. 

Anne Arran and Lorraine Leivers were welcomed on Board as President and Aspirants Director respectively along with renewals for Kev Sidford as Partnerships Director, Ian Spare for Communications Director and British Mountain Guide, Simon Hale as Technical Director. CPD providers included: Jonathan Baird, Caroline Hale, Mark Tennant, Simon Hale, Simon Conroy, Jamie Carr, Cory Jones, Jim Langley, Michelle Smith, Anne Brearley, Rick Shearer, Dr Jon Dallimore, Tom Durham.

Would I go again? Might have to...


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27/12/2016
Ski touring is definitely an enjoyable experience ; a really unique way of discovering the Alps.

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