The British Mountaineering Council
Feb 2, The Weather Gods did not smile kindly on the BMC International Winter Meet that was held at Glenmore Lodge from January 24 to January The BMC International Meet is a great opportunity for international climbers to visit Britain and enjoy the climbing and hospitality our great island has to offer. Feb 4, The annual BMC International Winter Meet based from Glenmore Lodge was held last week bringing roughly 40 climbers from over
BMC International Winter Climbing Meet 2016
After a long pitch of snaking between ramps I took a belay at the base of the top ramp which ran out into two ominous looking overhanging corners to my right.
Woops, maybe I'm going to make the guys abb off on their last day before going all the way home to Japan?? Yoko watches as Mano gingerly scratches across the ramp. Someone get this man a new helmet. Mano starting up the crux pitch, about to head into the second overhanging corner, only to come back across that horrible slab to the belay!
BMC International Winter Climbing Meet
Mano worked his way carefully across the ramp which was very thinly plated and a little bit scratcy for all our liking, especially as good runners didn't come quickly above my dubious belay. But Mano was pretty hardcore, and dismissing the first blank corner he got established below the second one.
- BMC International Winter Meet 2012
- BMC International Winter Meet Report
- BMC International Winter Meet 2014, the report by Tito Arosio
An hour passed and me and Yoko agreed it was getting a little chilly as Mano scratched and grunted in the base of the corner before announcing it was too hard and devoid of hooks and reversing, ushering me to have a try. I was baltic and for abbing off, but they did come from Japan for this so I moaned about cold hands and gibbered into the corner myself to confirm Mano's verdict.
But then I found a scratchy flake hook on the right wall, dropped into a deep egyptian always the secret and next thing I had a runner and a thin hook above. I came down for a caramel log and a word with myself and had a proper look. After six more repetitions only one caramel log though unfortunately I got a few moves further and used up a lot of forearm juice failing to get anymore gear in.
I retreated down again and hid in the base of the corner to think about it. I didn't want to lean out and see the guys, they must have been getting really cold and waiting for some sort of outcome. The next time I really went for it as I knew the time had come to either commit or admit the abseil was inevitable.
I got really pumped and scared the higher I got and felt a little ill when a really bad hook broke and I almost took the fall.
A bit of shouting to re-focus and accept I was commited and I flailed into the groove above, so pumped I had to shake out before I could even open the krabs on my harness to place a much needed runner. Soon I was hanging from a sound belay and thinking it had been a long time since I felt ill at the prospect of a likely bad peeler.
The guys had a nasty time with the corner and tested my belay a few times each on the way up. But still were beaming and proclaiming a "great great route". On the plateau Mano asked "this grade VII?
We climbed the route without any major problems and the most beautiful thing I discovered - and venerated for the rest of the week - was the Bulldog, a sort of mini ice ax blade that is hammered into the cracks clogged with ice and grass.
This really is a great invention and it enables you to easily protect otherwise critical situations.
2016 BMC Winter International Meet: wild weather and friendships formed
Malcom had obviously made the right decision not to bring too many Friends, all the cracks were filled with a couple of millimeters of ice that would have made them unreliable. Hexes hammered into these cracks worked far better. The day came to an end and we returned to Glenmore Lodge just in time for dinner. The first thing to do though was to hang out all our clothes, so that they wouldn't be too wet the next morning. Dry was out of the question because of all the humidity.
Every night there was a different conference, accompanied by the classic British humor. After the conferences we went to the bar and over a couple of beers we decided what to climb the next day. One beer is even called spindrift, so I can rightly state that spindrift was the Leitmotif of my trip to Scotland, both during the day and at night!
The week passed by quickly, one route after the next was climbed, all great, only the wake-up calls became more and more difficult due to our long nights at the bar! The atmosphere was fantastic, we got the chance to talk to everyone, the average age of both the hosts and guests was 27, just like me, and this really surprised me as I'd expected most to be a lot older.
In the middle of the week we then changed host and I partnered up with Neil, a nice climber from Sheffield. Choosing what to climb and where was made difficult this year to the large amounts of snow that resulted in an unusually high avalanche danger.Nick Bullock climbs King Wad (E5) on BMC International Meet
The best crags were located in the NE of Scotland, almost 2 hours drive away, resulting in particularly long days.
Often at most teams didn't return in time for dinner. The week ends with a fun party that lasts well into the night, making waking up the next day even harder! After a quick breakfast all the participants leave the lodge and head to airport or the station. We all feel slightly melancholy.
And so after a week I return home feeling richer than before, happy to have understood the basic notions of British mountaineering: And Scottish winter climbing is a master for this!