The Scottish Mountaineering Trust was established by Trust Deed in 1962 by the Scottish Mountaineering Club. The primary object of the Trust, as stated in the Deed, is "to promote and secure the health, education and recreation of members of the public by fostering among them knowledge of the geography, topography, meteorology, biology and geology of and proper technique of movement within mountainous regions of Scotland or elsewhere and an appreciation of their beauty and by affording opportunities for enjoyment of these regions."
Like all charities, the activities of the Trust are bounded by Government legislation. Any grants made by the Trust must be for charitable purposes. For example, this excludes any applications for the support of expeditions which can be regarded as purely recreational or exploratory. A clear scientific, educational or other charitable purpose would have to be demonstrated. Likewise, no grant can be made for the improvement of premises which are not generally available to the mountaineering community.
Trustees are appointed by the Scottish Mountaineering Club and normally serve for a period of three years. The Chairman is normally the immediate Past-President of the Scottish Mountaineering Club and serves for a period of two years. Additional to the Trustees, there is a Secretary and a Treasurer who are nonvoting officers.
The Trust's revenue is derived in the main from two main sources:
In order to secure the bulk of its future income, the Trust finances the book production activities of Scottish Mountaineering Trust (Publications) Limited.
The Trust carries out its primary object by making grants to organisation and individuals. By far the largest area of expenditure has been in supporting footpath repair but extensive and continuing support is given to Mountaineering Scotland for core funding. Large donations have also been made to land purchase appeals by conservation bodies.
The Trust is keen to encourage the safe participation in mountaineering, support is given to training courses - especially those aimed at young people - such as those subsidised by the Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust.
Smaller grants have been made to other organisation e.g. to Clubs for renovation of huts. Expedition grants have been made but only in those cases where the applicants have been able to demonstrate a component of scientific or educational objectives.
Below are shown the approximate totals of the grants made by the Trust in its major areas of activity in the period 1990-2017.
|Footpath Construction and Maintenance||£419,000|
|Core Funding of Mountaineering Scotland||£215,000|
|Mountaineering Education and Training||£31,500|
|Mountain Rescue Equipment and Facilities||£65,000|
|Support of Expeditions||£32,500|
|Renovation of Club Huts||£189,000|