Since we announced the start of our journey to Climb Britain, we’ve had some great responses on UKclimbing, Twitter and Facebook. Some positive, some negative – and all passionate.
Amongst this social media storm, there are a few common questions that keep cropping up – here are the answers. If you’ve got any more questions, please get in touch and we’ll add them to this list.
What was wrong with the name BMC?
We were set up in 1944 as the British Mountaineering Council. Whilst this name has served us well, there’s no getting away from that fact that it was dating. Consequently, we often just used the acronym BMC. If you’re in the know, this is fine, but we were one of the few representative sporting bodies left who used an acronym. British Mountaineering Council (BMC) made it hard for us to connect with younger people: only 10,628 of our 82,536 members are under 25.
What about the hill walkers?
We firmly believe that “Climb Britain” is more welcoming to hill walkers than “Mountaineering Council” and this is backed by our Hill Walking Working Group. Our Hill Walking Officer supports it and our independent director and walker Brian Smith is fully on board. Britain’s mountains have never been climbed by so many people and the vast majority of those people are walkers. Climb Britain doesn’t specify what type of climbing you might enjoy; you can climb hills or mountains, rocks or ice, indoors or boulder, and we’ll still continue to promote your interests.
Don’t you think “Mountaineering” is better?
While mountaineering is a good name, it isn’t all encompassing, and we wanted to reach more of our members than our old name allowed. The number of activities that our members enjoy is no longer just related to the mountains, it includes bouldering, indoor climbing, deep-water soloing, dry tooling and many more. Also, many hill walkers and rock climbers don’t think of themselves as mountaineers.
Did our subs pay for it?
All of the consultancy work leading up to the Climb Britain announcement has been funded by Sport England. The change will be phased in over the next 12 months to minimise further costs, many of which are covered by the natural cycle of replacement.
Why weren’t members part of the decision-making process?
Major decisions are made by the Executive Committee (the Board of Directors) and the National Council, both comprised of elected volunteers. The rebranding proposal was unanimously agreed by the BMC Board of Directors on 18 May. It then went to the National Council meeting on 18 June, where it was agreed 19 for, 1 abstention (due to being a new member) and 0 against.
Will this affect the ownership of BMC crags and land?
No. While our public identity is now Climb Britain, the formal company name remains British Mountaineering Council.
Is it to get Olympic funding?
No. This decision is not connected to the Olympic bid – although it has come around at a similar time. The consultation was funded by Sport England who fund grass roots, mass participation and non-elite level sport. UK Sport covers the top end of Britain’s sporting pathway: supporting athletes and sports to compete and win medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Does this name reflect more focus on indoor climbing?
No. These days, climbing, walking and mountaineering are a very broad cathedral of people. But what we have in common is a love for challenge, adventure, and the fact that we all climb stuff. Our work for everyone who climbs hills, rock, indoors, ice and mountains remains unchanged.
Will it affect me getting a discount in alpine huts?
It shouldn’t. Most huts would need to see your Reciprocal Rights card, not the BMC membership card to get the discount. However, this use is something we’ll bear in mind when designing the new membership cards.
Read more about Climb Britain
BMC to change its name to Climb Britain
After more than 70 years as the British Mountaineering Council, we’ve decided to move with the times and unite all our members under one 'Climb' banner.
Climb Britain: the facts
We take a look at the facts behind the change to Climb Britain.
What does Climb Britain mean for walkers?
Changing to Climb Britain won't affect our work for walkers – find out more.
Climb Britain: a personal message from BMC CEO Dave Turnbull
Dave Turnbull gives a behind-the-scenes look at the process.
Climb Britain: Update from the BMC
It's been a rocky ride this last few days, and it's probably fair to say we didn’t quite anticipate the level of interest there would be in our Climb Britain announcement.