Tuesday 2nd August 2022, 4:01pm
This month we have advertised two great employment opportunities.
We’re looking for a Communications Officer to take the place of Neil Reid, who is retiring later in the year. We’re looking for someone who can step in to play an important and dynamic role in raising awareness and visibility of the work of Mountaineering Scotland, developing our digital channels and helping us deliver the aims and outcomes of our new strategy for 2022-25. The successful candidate will engage with new audiences as well as existing members and clubs through social media, web, PR, print and email marketing.
And an entirely new post, our ClimbScotland team is recruiting for a Talent & Pathways Officer. With climbing now an Olympic sport, we are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motived candidate for this new post to lead in developing and delivering a new Talent Pathway in Scotland, supporting our next generation of competitive climbers to achieve their potential.
Our CEO Stuart Younie met with his counterparts at the BMC to discuss the ongoing challenges relating to public liability insurance premiums which have increased significantly for both organisations over the last three years. A short life working group has been set up by the board of Mountaineering Scotland to support a review of the current arrangements and explore possible options to mitigate against any further cost increases.
Stuart also met with the new CEO of snowsportscotland, Scott Simon, who has recently taken over the role, and is looking forward to continuing to work with Scott and the team at snowsports particularly around support for ski touring and mountaineering.
The installation of new IT in the Granary meeting room was also completed with the installation of a new flat screen monitor, camera and pc to enable hybrid meetings to take place and the screen can also be used for presentations. This completes the full refurbishment of the Granary which took place in 2019 and the meeting room is available for use during office hours to Mountaineering Scotland member clubs and partner organisations.
During July we enjoyed mostly good weather for four days of navigation courses in the Ochils and Pentlands, which were all fully booked and appreciated by participants.
Going The Extra Mile
The last of the current program of ‘Going The Extra Mile’ navigation skills courses, is aimed at 18-25 year olds, took place in the Pentlands this month, and we are now looking at the possibility of adding further courses to the calendar before winter.
The Mountain Safety Adviser team met on 26th July to finalise the dates for the winter courses and put together the programme for 2023, when there will hopefully be some new developments to announce! Bookings for autumn night navigation courses will open in early August, and winter skills bookings later in the month.
The online survey about using mobile phone and GPS for navigation went live this month and has had a phenomenal response so far from members and non-members alike, with over 3,700 people taking part. We look forward to reviewing the responses to see what people have said and will share the findings. The results will undoubtedly help shape future safety messaging and our navigation course content.
Operating in partnership with the Association of Mountaineering Instructors, this month we launched Women’s Ready to Rock courses. These courses are designed for women who want to learn to climb or progress from climbing indoors to learning the key skills to climb outdoors on real rock, and offer a range of levels, from beginner through to sport and trad lead climbing, lead by experienced women instructors in partnership with AMI.
In July we received consultations on 10 windfarm proposals. Nine of these are still at an early stage in the planning system and we provided comments for hill summit assessments on three of them which may have an impact on mountaineering interests. We also looked at a telecoms mast proposal and a new pumped storage hydro scheme by Loch Awe.
Many of these schemes take time to come to fruition, and an example of which was final confirmation this month that the landfall for the electricity cable for the Moray West offshore windfarm would be situated some distance from the climbing interests at Redhythe, by Portsoy. We first heard about this in August 2018 when the developer was surprised to hear from us that there was a popular climbing venue on the nearby sea cliffs.
Access issues can be long-running affairs that need some tending, with an eye being kept on them, including foot access to Aonach Mor through forestry, parking at Reiff, Achiltibuie, for climbing, and ongoing matters regarding access to South Quarry in Holyrood Park. A new issue regarding a farm road realignment was logged with the local access authority to investigate.
July is always a quiet month but were kept busy sending out membership cards to renewing members, new member packs and processing club membership payment receipts.
Bookings are now open for this year’s Youth Climbing Series, the national youth competition bringing together young climbers from all over Scotland to compete to select the Scottish YCS Team and Scottish Youth Squad. Bookings for all rounds will remain open until 14th August.
There has also been excitement around the IFSC World Cup coming to Ratho. The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), together with the British Mountaineering Council and GB Climbing, agreed in July that Edinburgh will host the 13th event of the IFSC World Cup Series 2022 from 9 to11 September. This replaces the IFSC Lead and Speed World Cup that was originally scheduled to take place in Wujiang, China, but was cancelled due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Mountaineering Scotland and the ClimbScotland team look forward to working with BMC, IFSC, Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, EventScotland and Edinburgh City Council on this event to make it the best possible experience for everyone involved, from athletes to spectators. Tickets will go on sale on Monday 8 August - see our website and social media channels for more info in the coming days.