The BMC International Meet was a huge success despite winter playing hide and seek for the week. One international guest, Lior from Israel, was heard to remark that the event was a 'masterpiece'.
Based at Glenmore Lodge from 22 Feb to 1 March the Meet saw 36 international guests from 26 countries team up with a similar number of UK hosts. Countries included Iran, Japan, South Africa, India, Georgia and Argentina. During the day, when winter could be found, hosts took guests out to show them the full delights of Scottish winter climbing.
We had a super keen bunch of people from all over the world and while some hard ascents were seen, on the whole, pysched teams of all levels were out climbing day after day. The common misconception that these Meets are just for elite climbers is completely wrong.
On Ben Nevis Darth Vader (VII, 8) and Babylon (VII, 7) were done along with multiple ascents of Thompson's Route, Glover's Chimney, Comb Gully Buttress, Good Friday Climb, Tower Ridge, Tower Scoop, Green Gully, Indicator Wall and Smith's Route. New routes were done on the Ben: Simon Richardson and Zoe Hart (USA) did a new two pitch route appropriately named The Alpine Princess (IV, 4) and followed this up with another new route on Wednesday in a team of four with Ian Parnell and Maxine Turgeon (Canada) named Big Wednesday (VI, 6).
Throughout the week teams went to the Northern Corries, Braeriach, Lochnagar, Hell's Lum and Stag Rocks. On the days winter hid away so well that it couldn't be found, teams went to Cummingston, Birnam, Pass of Ballater, Creag Meagaidh and Dunkeld, to make the most of rock climbing, hill walking and dry tooling opportunities.
The evenings were kept busy with some excellent presentations including Dave MacLeod (UK), Jamie Andrew (UK), Zoe Hart (USA), Pavel Vritk (Czech Republic), and Kei Taniguchi & Yusuke Sato (Japan). Kai told us about her audacious first ascent of the much admired and sought after South East Face of Kamet. She called the route Samurai Direct. Piolet D'Or winner, Yusuke Sato, gave an awesome presentation about the amazing first ascent of the North Face of Kalanka.
All in all much fun was had; friendships were made, dance moves were thrown and climbing tights were worn with pride.
The BMC wishes to thank all the UK hosts and Glenmore Lodge for making the event such a great success.
The BMC International Meet was organised by Becky McGovern (BMC). During the event Nick Colton (BMC) joined Becky for the onsite running of the event.
BMC International Meet 2009 photo gallery
BMC International Meets explained.
For a host's perspective of the meet, read Des Rubens report.
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