BMC Patron and former UIAA President Ian McNaught-Davis dies

Featured, Membership

The UIAA is saddened to hear of the death of former UIAA president Ian McNaught-Davis through the British Mountaineering Council where he was Patron and former president.

Funeral arrangements

For those friends who can make it to the funeral, these are the details. Please contact Loreto McNaught-Davis to let her know if you will be attending.

Mac’s funeral will take place on Tuesday 18 February.

2:30pm: Church Service, Our Lady of Victories, 235a Kensington High Street, London W8 6QT 6SA
The church is on the High Street, but not entirely noticeable, set back from the pavement, next door to Banahm’s shop.

4:00pm: Mortlake Crematorium, Kew Meadow Path, Richmond, TW9 4EN
Directions to the crematorium

5:00pm: Britannia Pub, Mac’s favourite pub for a celebration, 1 Allen Street, London W8 6UX
The pub is around the corner from the church

Family flowers only. If you wish to give a gift in memory, donations to Alzheimer’s Society and/or Marie Curie Cancer Care can be done directly online, or c/o JH Kenyon, Funeral Directors, 49 Marloes Road, London W8 6LA. Tel: 0207 937 0757

Ian Mc Naught Davis was elected interim president of the UIAA in May 1995 after the sudden death of Pietro Segantini and then again re-elected twice as president until 2004.

In his essay on the history of the UIAA, Honorary Member Claude Eckhardt wrote that under McNaught Davis topics tackled by the UIAA included the revision of the Bulletin and access issues, first handled by a working group created in 1993. In 1997, a UIAA Seminar on outstanding social and human values of mountaineering was held in Paris which included the participation of specialists in sociology, psychology and education. An Access and Conservation Commission was eventually created in 1999.  That same year an International Ski Mountaineering Commission (ISMC) was created which took over the management of ski mountaineering competition from Comité International de Ski Alpinisme de Compétition (CISAC).

Another major achievement was a worldwide congress organised by the Austrian and German Alpine Clubs in Innsbruck which agreed upon the “Tirol Declaration” on ethics in the practice of mountaineering and climbing. The meeting and declaration was the result of five years of work by the Mountaineering Commission.

In early 2000, under McNaught-Davis, the UIAA developed a strategic plan and Sport and Development director engaged for its implementation. But the expected sponsorship and financial strategy did not materialize due to an unsure economical situation after the 9/11 attack in the U.S.A.

A few years later, in 2003, a new structure was established to manage ice climbing competitions. However, pressure for more independence for climbing competitions led to the formation of a working group that proposed a new UIAA structure which was approved in the General Assembly of 2004 in Delhi.We reprint in full below, some words of appreciation for McNaught-Davis by UIAA Mountaineering Commission member Doug Scott.

 The BMC is sad to report that Ian McNaught-Davis, a BMC Patron and former BMC President (1991-1994), has died at the age of 84. Doug Scott has given the following words of appreciation.

Ian McNaught-Davis (Mac) was a very influential mountaineer not only in Britain but on the world stage.  He was a very accomplished rock climber and continued to rock climb even into his eightieth year.  

Mac’s greatest achievement in climbing was to make the first ascent of Muztagh Tower [7,276 m] with Joe Brown, John Hartog and Tom Patey in 1956.  Mac became well known to the British public as presenter on the televised climb of the Old Man of Hoy and later when climbing for television up the Eiffel Tower with Lionel Terray.  

He was a superb raconteur entertaining audiences and guests at climbing events and dinners where his self-deprecating humour had everyone completely captivated.

Mac became President of the UIAA (International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) from 1995-2004.  This proved to be a very productive period in the 80 year history of the UIAA thanks in part to Mac’s enormous energy and enthusiasm to keep alive the best traditions of mountaineering.  He was supported throughout his Presidency by not only his good friend the late Roger Payne but also by his wife Loreto.

Three years ago Mac was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and nine months ago with liver cancer.  He was nursed with total care and devotion by Marlyn Ortiz Avila and the love of his wife, Loreto, right to the end.