BBC Scotland set to stage mountaineering epic

THE spectacular and remote crags of Cairngorms National Park are to provide the location for a series of live, rock climbing ascents, to be broadcast on BBC Scotland next month.

Shot in High Definition, The Great Climb is to comprise six hours of television programming featuring four teams of two climbers. With at least one new route being put up, the programme is being transmitted from 1pm to 7pm on the 18th of next month – on BBC TWO Scotland. It is being produced by independent TV production company, Triple Echo.

Says BBC Scotland: “The programme will also set new standards for filming in wilderness environments because of the extreme sensitivity and fragility of the mountain location.

“Permission was granted on the basis that the producers agree a leave-no-trace commitment to protect the fragile local environment, with much equipment being flown in to prevent any erosion to the mountain trails and rare plant communities that live on them.”

The programme also marks something of an anniversary for the BBC – it is 40 years since the BBC filmed Chris Bonington and his team on Orkney’s Old Man of Hoy, an event watched by millions over the ascent’s three days.

Adds David Harron, editor, TV Sport at BBC Scotland: “This is the most exciting project we have commissioned for a long time and promises to offer a unique mix of physical drama, spectacular scenery, cutting edge technical innovation and narratives about the local landscape. We are hugely energised about what will be a landmark programme and a genuine world first for BBC Scotland.”

Continues Richard Else, producer, Triple Echo: “Living in the shadows of Cairngorms National Park, I know at first hand what an incredibly special and precious environment this is. To be able to offer a world-class broadcast of leading-edge climbing from right in the heart of the park is an enormous privilege.”