News New British Mountaineering Council President elected at the Annual General Meeting

New British Mountaineering Council President elected at the Annual General Meeting


Dominic Oughton was elected as the British Mountaineering Council President at its annual general meeting last night.

Andy Syme, the outgoing president, has served as the organisation’s President since 2021. The BMC would like to offer thanks to Andy for the support he has provided over the three years of his presidency and before that in his role on National Council. Andy also sat on several Organisational Review Groups and led on the creation of the Ice Climbing sub-committee. His term coincided with a number of challenges for the organisation, including the Covid-19 pandemic and cost of living crisis, and recent financial pressures, we thank him for his unwavering support during his tenure.

Following the end of his term, Andy said:

“It has been a real privilege to serve as the members' champion. When I was a small boy putting the Everest SW Face poster on my wall, or when I went on a Plas y Brenin course for my first alpine season in 1983, I could never have imagined it being possible to have the honour of serving as President of the BMC.”

Dominic Oughton will now begin his term in the post. In addition to his new role as President, Dominic has been a BMC member for the past 30 years, including 15 years as a BMC volunteer, and is currently a trustee of Climbers Against Cancer.

He was elected with 95% of the vote and ran unchallenged.

Following his election, Dominic said:

"I was introduced to climbing forty years ago by my now-wife, and it transformed my life. As a long-time BMC volunteer, including nine years as Trustee of the Access and Conservation Trust, and past President of The Rucksack Club, I've seen firsthand what we can achieve together.

“My journey through various roles has equipped me with a deep understanding of our community's grassroots and strategic needs, I look forward to advocating for all members, fostering transparency, and building partnerships to protect and secure access to our much-loved natural spaces.”

On the changing of the presidency, Paul Ratcliffe, Chief Executive Officer of the BMC, said:

"I would like to thank Andy for his years of service to the organisation and all that he has done to shape the future of climbing, hill walking and mountaineering opportunities in Britain and internationally. His passion and support during my initial months in the CEO role and whilst serving as a volunteer on CCPG have been invaluable.

“I am excited to work with Dominic in building a better culture and working on an event engagement strategy whilst also fostering his passion for climbing. I believe he will be a helpful galvanizer and a critical friend, bridging the gap between myself, the council, and the board to help strengthen the leadership spine of the BMC."

Incoming BMC President, Dom Oughton on Slanting Slab, Clogwyn Du'r Arddu

During the meeting, Roger Murray, BMC Chair of the Board, thanked departing Board members for their service to the organisation. Martyn Hurn (Nominated Director) finishing his term on the date of the AGM, Caroline Worboys (Senior Independent Director) finishing her term in January 2024, Carl Spencer (Council Nominated Director) finishing his term in July 2023 and Fiona Sanders (Council Nominated Director), finishing her term in October 2023.

Caroline has been replaced on the Board by Independent Director, Hanne Doherty. The BMC also officially welcomes Andy Say (Council Nominated Director) and Trevor Smith (Council Nominated Director) to the Board of Directors, following last night’s vote. Andy and Trevor will replace Carl Spencer and Fiona Sanders.

Following the meeting’s conclusion, Roger Murray said:

“As they depart from the Board, I’d like to pay tribute to Andy Syme, Carl Spencer, Fiona Sanders, Caroline Worboys and Martyn Hurn for their significant contributions over recent years. The BMC has benefitted hugely from their experience and insight, and I hope all of them will continue to support our organisation for many years in the future.

“I’d also like to congratulate our President, Dominic, on his election for the next three years, and look forward to working closely alongside him and our new directors as we build stability over the next 12 months and beyond.”