70 years ago, Geoffrey Winthrop Young – a leading rock climber, mountaineer and president of the Alpine Club – had a vision: a new body to represent all mountaineers.
Foreseeing that once World War II was over, the pre-war boom of enthusiasm for the hills would be resumed by a new generation, Winthrop Young was campaigning to set up a British Mountaineering Council.
At a meeting in London on 2 December 1944, the British Mountaineering Council was formally established.
Since its formation in 1944, the BMC has developed into a body which now represents 76,000 members with a passion for climbing, hill walking and/or mountaineering and 270 affiliated clubs. One which is now uniquely placed in being both a representative body for sport and an outdoor environmental campaigning organisation.
Winthrop Young probably wouldn't recognise modern climbing and walking - redpointing, competitions, deep-water soloing, bolts, Gore-Tex clothing, GPS, smartphones, mountain safety apps, geocaching... But one thing has remained unchanged since his day: countless passionate volunteers and staff have ensured that the spirit of British climbing, walking and mountaineering remains just as adventurous and independent as it was in 1944.
Geoffrey Winthrop Young. Photo: Alpine Club
Young at heart
We may be 70 but the BMC is keeping itself young by listening to the under 25s. Over 2,000 young people completed our recent survey and gave very positive feedback on what the BMC is doing as well as giving us some new ideas for the future. After all, it is the younger generation that will be guiiding the BMC over its next 70 years.
Our high profile BMC ambassadors are acting as role models to inspire and engage young climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. They are helping to encourage more young people to join and get involved with the BMC. Watch this space for further developments in our work with young people.
70th anniversary celebrations
2014 has been a fantastic anniversary year and we've marked this historic milestone with an anniversary issue of Summit magazine, a series of outdoor festivals and an anniversary dinner with our 25 founder clubs.
Help us celebrate
Not a member? Why not make this the year to join. Join the BMC today. Don't take our word for it, read why a dozen of our members joined.
Already a member? Please share why you are a #BMCmember on Facebook or Twitter.
Read more about the history of the BMC.
Find out more about the BMC and what it does.
WATCH: 'All in a day's work' a film about the BMC filmed in 2011 on BMC TV:
WATCH: the BMC Portland Festival and AGM 2014 on BMC TV:
WATCH: our TremFest 2014 film on BMC TV:
WATCH: our Stanage Festival 2014 film on BMC TV:
WATCH: our Bristol Climbing Festival 2014 film on BMC TV
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