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BMCimageThe BMC

Mountaineering encompasses walking, hiking, backpacking and climbing mountains. In Europe it is also referred to as alpinism, while in the Americas the term refers to a particular style of mountain exploration, which can include ice climbing and rock climbing.

Mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains, now it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain depending on whether the route chosen is over rock, snow or ice. All require experience, athletic ability, and technical knowledge to maintain safety. The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the national representative body for England and Wales that exists to promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. The BMC website has links to national and international clubs, training facilities and opportunities for children to try mountaineering.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) represents mountaineers, climbers and hill walking enthusiasts in Scotland. Alongside mountaineering, climbing or walking clubs MCofS also aims to represent the interests of the estimated 400,000 people who head for Scotland’s mountains every month.

Mountaineering Ireland is the representative body for hill walkers and climbers in Ireland, it is recognised as the national governing body for mountaineering by both the Irish Sports Council and Sport Northern Ireland.