To boldly go where no one has been before is surely every adventurer’s dream. Be it a new route , a new mountain or – in James Tiberius Kirk’s case – a new galaxy or star system!
In a week where the BMC and MCofS both boldly went and changed their names, and Star Trek Beyond opened in UK cinema’s (I give it a strong 4.5 our of 5 by the way) closer to home we took a bold new step and started to move out of our beloved home of 10 years to a new flat ahead of a final move later next year.
More of that later . What about those name changes though?
So for anyone who didn’t notice the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) announced it was changing identity and is now Climb Britain. in a similar move the Mountaineering Council for Scotland (MCofS) is now rebranding to become Mountaineering Scotland .
The social media response was huge with many dissenting voices feeling that the new Climb Britain identity did not represent them as Hillwalkers or Mountaineers as they don’t see themselves as climbers.
Is a rose by any other name as sweet ?
The Oxford definition of Climb is :
Verb : Go or come up a (slope or staircase); ascend:we began to climb the hill. Use- : the air became colder as they climbed higher he climbed up the steps slowly
For many in the outdoors community the word “climb” divides those who walk or mountaineer and those who rock or Ice climb . Alpine climbers being the blur in the middle I guess. I find this argument a little ironic for today I hear many people refer to “climbing Ben Nevis” when technically they mean going up the pony track. To these hardy adventurers braving the long and winding route, often locked in mist at the highest point of the UK was a climb but perhaps to a North Face trad climber it was a walk – and some less than charitable people would possibly even sneer (albeit inwardly im sure for fear of being called elitist) at this pedestrian effort.
Is it the same mountain walkers who now feel the BMC doesn’t represent them?
One thing I take from it all – the case has highlighted the enduring passion, energy and love for the pastime and that people have a voice so should use it. For me its no biggie, I see myself a Mountaineer (probably because I still find rock climbing very difficult!) yet often refer to myself in a truly interchangeable fashion as a climber or an Ice Climber.
These ponderings and more have been with me as I pack up my life into boxes, like some sort of George Lowe preparing to set off for the summit of Everest. Reaching my new flat and establishing camp. Missing my home comforts, trying to find some small reminder of home – a chair, a picture hung on a wall, my climbing gear neatly stowed in its new home.
I boldly set off up the new main street on my continuing mission to find a good local coffee shop before setting off again to gather more boxes and carry them up the stairs to my new base camp and think to myself (as I often do at the top of particularly long or tough route when considering the descent) “I wish I had a Star Trek transporter! “.
Adventures comes in all shapes and sizes, and for me I just started a new and exciting one and with that comes first of all denial (I’m not moving!), fear (what if..?.), anger (I don’t like change , why do I need to move!) but of course finally acceptance – and in this case I’m sure happiness.
As Vulcan Scottish Winter climbers say “Climb long and suffer!”
USS Enterprise image Copyright Paramount Studios.