BMC Patrons and Honorary members

Current BMC Patrons

BMC Patrons are people who have provided exceptional support and assistance to the BMC:

Sir Chris Bonington CBE

The UK’s most famous mountaineer and global climbing icon Sir Chris Bonington started climbing in 1951, at the age of 16, and it has been his passion ever since.  During over 60 years of adventure, Bonington has undertaken and led 19 Himalayan expeditions, including four to Everest.  He has made numerous first ascents around the world, while also continuing to indulge his love of hill walking and rock climbing when back at home in the Lake District or exploring other parts of the UK and Ireland.

Bonington made the first British ascent of the north wall of the Eiger and led the 1970 expedition that completed the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna, the biggest and most difficult climb in the Himalaya at the time.  He went on to lead the successful expedition that made the first ascent of the south west face of Everest in 1975, which also saw the first British mountaineers reach the summit of the world’s highest peak in Doug Scott and Dougal Haston.  In 1977, Bonington and Scott made the first ascent of the Ogre in Pakistan.  Their dramatic six days long descent, during which Scott broke both legs and Bonington broke ribs, has become the stuff of climbing legend.  The peak was not climbed again for another 24 years.

Bonington himself reached the summit of Everest at the age of 50 in 1985, as a member of a Norwegian expedition.  He is still active in the mountains, climbing with the same enthusiasm as he had at the beginning of his career.

Off the mountains, Sir Chris Bonington has contributed a great deal of time and energy to the outdoor community, with roles in organisations such as the British Mountaineering Council, Outdoor Industries Association, Council for National Parks, the Outward Bound Trust and, most recently, the Friends of Blencathra.  Bonington is non-executive chairman of Berghaus, the UK’s leading outdoor brand.  2014 is the 30th anniversary of his association with the company and Berghaus has announced a series of initiatives to celebrate both that landmark and his 80th birthday.

Rab Carrington

Rab Carrington has been involved with climbing and mountaineering for more than 50 years and with the BMC since 2005. He's been a keen mountaineer, and founded an internationally renowned outdoor gear brand.

Rab started climbing at 15 or 16 when a couple of friends invited him up to Glencoe, In the ‘70s he would spend the decade climbing as much as possible. Working six months and then taking off for the rest of the year, going to the Alps and all over the world. In the 80's, Rab and his wife Sue decided to set up a company called Rab. When he retired, he met Henry Folkard completely by chance in the waiting room of a bank. He asked if he'd ever considered doing something for the BMC. The rest is BMC history. I became vice president for three years, and then did another three as president, after that I worked with Mountain Training England, and since 2005 have been very connected with the BMC.

Mick Fowler

Dubbed ‘The Climbing Taxman’ by the media, and voted ‘The Mountaineers’ Mountaineer’ by the Observer Magazine, Mick Fowler is the ‘amateur’ climber par excellence, matching the standards of many professional climbers while holding down a full-time job at HM Customs & Revenue.

Mick first made the headlines with ascents of difficult rock routes and ice climbs in the late 1970s, and much like Pat Littlejohn, developed a reputation for adventurous pioneering on Britain’s sea cliffs. Based in London in the 1980s, he was one of a group of climbers who would regularly make the journey to Scotland for a weekend of winter climbing; his record was 11 consecutive weekends.

Meticulous research and planning has enabled Mick to use his annual holiday allowance to make a series of expeditions to the Greater Ranges, where he has amassed an enviable record of alpine-style lightweight first ascents. With climbing partner Paul Ramsden, he has twice been awarded the Piolet d’Or, the annual award for the year’s greatest mountaineering achievement. In 2002, the pair received the award for their first ascent of the North Couloir of Mount Siguniang in the Qionglai Mountains of China, and in 2013 they became the first pair to win a second award with their first ascent of the Prow (North East Ridge) of Shiva in the Indian Himalayas. Mick also received the King Albert award for 'outstanding contribution to mountaineering' in 2012. In 2011 Mick teamed up with novice Himalayan mountaineer BMC CEO Dave Turnbull to make the first ascent of Mugu Chuli in western Nepal.

Mick served as President of the Alpine Club from 2011 to 2013 after winning the first contested election in the organisation's 150-year history. He has also found time to write two books about his exploits, Vertical Pleasure (1985) and On Thin Ice (1995), both of which were shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain literature.

As BMC Patron, Mick said: “For nearly 40 years the BMC has helped me in ways such as enabling access to climbing areas in the UK (including some of interest to hardly anyone else!) to arranging insurance for Himalayan expeditions. It is an honour to become a Patron and do my best to ensure that it continues to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of future generations of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers.”

Pat Littlejohn OBE

Pat Littlejohn is responsible for providing many climbers with some of their most memorable sea cliff and mountain adventures, thanks to numerous classic climbs he has established (usually onsight and ground-up) all over the UK during the course of a climbing career which began in the 1960s: Eroica and Darkinband at Pentire; The Crow in Cheddar; Deep Space and Star Gate at Mother Carey’s; Pagan and Hunger at Gogarth; The Axe on Cloggy, to name just a few of his first ascents.

Also an accomplished alpinist, Pat applied his rock climbing skills to high alpine rock walls in the 1970s and 80s, with near-free ascents of the South Face of the Fou and the Hemming-Robbins route on the West Face of the Dru. Looking further afield for adventure in the 90s, Pat climbed the North East Pillar of Taweche in Nepal with our other new Patron Mick Fowler. More recently, Pat has been developing climbing in Africa, most notably in Ethiopia and northern Kenya.

Pat is an International Mountain Guide and has worked in outdoor education since the 1970s. He was Director of the International School of Mountaineering based in Leysin, Switzerland from 1983 until 2013. Pat served as BMC Vice-President from 2007 until 2010, and in 2008 he was awarded an OBE for services to mountaineering.

As BMC Patron, Pat said: “I was delighted to be offered this opportunity to continue my involvement with the BMC, which plays a vital role in keeping British climbing exciting, dynamic and adventurous.”

Honorary BMC Members

In recognition of services to the BMC and the mountaineering community, the BMC awards honorary membership status.

Les Ainsworth
Malcolm Baxter                               
Dave Cronshaw
Henry Folkard
Brian Griffiths
Eric Jones
Neville McMillan
Geoff Milburn
Gwen Moffat
Bob Moulton
Robert Pettigrew MBE
Mike Ratty
Rehan Siddiqui
Angela Soper
George Steele
John Willson
Martin Wragg

Paul Debney
Stephen Porteus                                             
Martin Wragg

Honorary Medical Advisors

Dr Charles Clarke
Dr David Hillebrandt