Mountaineering Council Membership

What are the Mountaineering Councils and what do they do?

The British Mountaineering Council, Mountaineering Scotland and Mountaineering Ireland are the representative bodies for hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers in Britain and Ireland. They lobby and advise government on matters such as access, risk and responsibility and changes in legislation.

Why do I need to join a Mountaineering Council before I can register on a scheme?

Mountain Training and the Mountaineering Councils work closely together on mountaineering good practice for individuals, leaders and groups: Mountain Training administers formal training schemes and the Mountaineering Councils dispense advice and expertise in more informal areas of activity such as student clubs, mountaineering clubs and youth participation.

Often the representative body and the awarding body (for training and coaching) for a sport are the same, whereas the Mountaineering Councils and Mountain Training, although closely linked, are separate entities (Ireland will be the exception when its structure is finalised). At Mountain Training we strongly recommend that candidates maintain their Council membership throughout their active years on the hills in recognition of the Councils’ activities on their behalf.

Your Mountaineering Council can help you with any of the following:

Access and Conservation
Mountaineering Councils’ access and conservation staff and network of volunteers work closely with land managers in negotiating, securing and maintaining access to our mountains, moorland and crags for the benefit of hillwalkers and climbers. Check with them if you are uncertain about any route before you set off.

Safety and Technical
High standards of safety are paramount in all aspects of work in the outdoors. The Mountaineering Councils examine gear failures and take an important role (within the UIAA) in setting standards for climbing and mountaineering equipment. They can also give advice and guidance, and produce a wide range of safety and technical resources for you, your group or club.

The Mountaineering Councils maintain extensive libraries and databases on and can help with access restrictions, climbing walls, huts, clubs and much more. Through them you can increase your understanding of climbing ethics and best practice, sensitive upland ecosystems and more.

Working Together
You can participate in the work of your Mountaineering Council through regular area meetings that every member can attend – details can be found on the ‘getting involved’ sections of their websites and magazines, which are free to members. All of the Councils welcome volunteering from their members, so contact them to find out how you can make a contribution.

Registration on a training course does not include any insurance cover. Individual Mountaineering Council members are covered by both Civil Liability and Personal Accident Disability Insurance for hill walking, climbing and mountaineering. This insurance covers candidates both before and after training and even whilst gaining relevant experience during the consolidation / log book period – what great value! (excluding candidates trading under a company name).

Your one-off requirement to join a Mountaineering Council is vital to everyone’s continued enjoyment of our sport and will help you to be a better climber or walker – most of us think that’s a small price to pay.

How do I join a Mountaineering Council?

You can join Mountaineering Scotland and the British Mountaineering Council via the Candidate Management System. Log in and go to the Membership Tab and click Join.For Mountaineering Ireland please see their website.

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