The nights are drawing in? The Old Man of Hoy.

This is a tricky time to be on the hills, the weather is changing and the darkness comes early . It is well worth checking your torch and many now carry a spare. I checked mine the other day and it was broken not so good so I will be looking for a new one, any tips?

The weather has been a bit strange and no snow as yet but it will come and I need a day out on the hills maybe over the weekend?

Hoy – cheating abseil in to the route!

I have had a group of pals three generations climb the Old man of Hoy a few weeks ago. A grandfather, a son and a grandson what a great thing to do well done Val Singleton. They had an adventure as everyone has on this iconic Sea stack.

Ken Hughes – On the 19th September, three generations of the same family summited the Old Man of Hoy at the same time; grandfather, son and grandson. I don’t believe this feat has been done before. It was my pleasure to help them on their journey. As a bonus, there was a lovely elderly couple on the headland armed with a Leica camera and binoculars. They took these amazing shots of us. A pure serendipity, as was the stunning September weather window we had on the day. It’s a story worth telling sometime …  ”

I first went there in the early 70’s and had a great time with the local Coastguard Team who were worried about a Rescue on the stac as it was getting popular even then. We had a great trip and a few drams. There was a plan were a team of Glenmore Lodge and a few others Mick Tighe ? would fly in to assist any rescue. I never saw the plan  used but we did a few trips and a few ascents in the past. One of the troops lead it in big boots, mad?

photo – From Mick Tighe Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection.

There used to be a wee diary on the top of the Old Man of Hoy sea stack in the Orkneys. This famous sandstone stack was first climbed by an all-star cast of Rusty Ballie, Tom W Patey and Chris Bonnington in 1966 a bold route for its time. It was the scene of a television extravaganza in 1967 when it was climbed in a live outside broadcast by some of the top performers of the day. Names such as Joe Brown, Dougal Haston,   Hamish MacInnes and Ian Clough all took part along with lots of top mountaineers as part of the safety team. It is well documented in  the excellent Tom Patey’s “One Man’s Mountains”.

The Kinloss and Leuchars Mountain Rescue Teams had climbed the Old Man in mid 80’s and several ascents were done after this by team members. I was also part of the RAF Kinloss Team that in the late 70’s did an exercise with the local Coastguards on Hoy involving an abseil off the great stack after a drop of by helicopter. I was scared to death at the time, never been good with heights.  That was extremely interesting and thought-provoking and worthy of a story on its own. Then there was a plan whereby if an accident happens on the stack a team of top mountaineers would be assembled from the mainland and flown to the cliff? This would have all taken a lot of time and I wonder how it would have worked, thank goodness it was not needed. Now-days things are a bit different but Mountaineers must appreciate that climbing on this stack is a serious undertaking if an accident happens rescue could be difficulty.  It is great that though there have been a few epics nothing major has happened as yet. Long may that continue!

We lost our good friend and Mountain Rescue team member Derek “Scotty” Scott of cancer at a young age of 33. In his memory a few of the team decided to put a wee “visitors book” on the summit of the Old Man for climbers to leave a few words. This was done in May 1991 as “Scotty” loved the Sea Stacs and enjoyed and treasured, the location, the wild life, (even the birds spitting at you)the power of the sea and of course the climbing. A unique  place to be.

The book was inscribed inside with the words:

For Scotty 1958 -1991 – Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team

“This small visitors book is placed here in memory of Derek “Scotty” Scott who sadly died in April of this year aged 33. During his short life Scotty achieved many things one of them an ascent of the Old Man of Hoy, a day which Scotty would treasure.

For those who visit this place – think how precious life is and the many things we can achieve if we only try”

Ian Clough Hoy – photo Hamish MacInnes.

The book also had a wee message to return the book when full to RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team. I was amazed when it was returned in 2000, pretty battered and wet by a climber to the team at RAF Kinloss. Unfortunately it went missing but I managed to photocopy the book before it went missing and a few friends now have copied it and the book is now readable again. We have sent  copies to Scotty’s family, the Kinloss Team and the Scottish Mountaineering Museum run by Mick Tighe it will be now kept safe.

The diary has some really interesting comments including an ascent by an 11-year-old Leo Houlding and many other tales. RAF Team members have bi-vied on the top when a  storm came in during the night, they said they felt the stack swaying? Also the ropes were fairly battered in the wind and nearly cut through, lucky boys. They were pretty hypothermic when they eventually got off, much to the worry of those watching on the mainland. Another ascent was climbed in big boots plus many more stories.

It is great to see how a wee book on the top of the Old Man can be so interesting. Scotty’s family and friends will love to see the comments. Thanks to all who put it there and for all the work getting the book copied and sorted out.

Hoy 

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Strange weather – big winds and seas. Be careful!

As we wait for the weather to improve my thoughts are with Ireland where the storm has battered the Island, the power of nature is there for all to see. No matter what we do we have to sit and wait Nature rules as always. I know little about the sea but live in a Coastal village where the power of the sea is there to see every day and in a storm incredible. The mountains are what I have experience of and when asked what I am most wary off is the weather especially the wind.

In my 40 years of Mountain Rescue the closest shaves have been on call – outs in the wind. Many would not be out in these conditions and I have seen big men blown over or a few times in the air by a gust. It is very frightening to watch helpless and if on a tight ridge we were so lucky that no one was hurt. I have huge respect for nature and the wind and how  vulnerable you feel out on the Cairngorms the “land of the big winds” I have had to rope up coming back from a call – out across the plateau in extreme winds. In the helicopter in a big wind is scary as it is battered trying to drop you off on a search or recovery. Yes I have huge respect for the weather and especially the wind. Add snow and ice and well that is another story. So be careful if out and about.

In a big wind in a helicopter is a scary place to be.

The Cairngorms weather today  – HOW WINDY? (ON THE MUNROS)

Southwest 50-70mph morning, strongest at dawn. Will progressively ease from west, and veer northwesterly, during afternoon.

EFFECT OF WIND ON YOU?

Any mobility frequently difficult on higher areas, but easing into the afternoon. Severe wind chill.

 

I am very wary now of being on the hills in high winds, what is a high wind many ask?

The wind on the hilltops tends to be stronger than at ground level, and you should allow for this when planning your walk.

Wind speed at the top of a mountain can be two to three times greater than the valley, i.e. two to three times the wind speed quoted on lowland weather forecasts, e.g. the MWIS /BBC ETC .

 

Vulnerable Areas

Mountain summits, ridges & cols/beleachs tend to have strong winds, as it’s here that the fast rising air is funnelled.

  • 30 – 40 Mph blowing you about on the hill. Very hard going
  • 50 Mph + really difficult.
  • 60 Mph + wild, existing – chance of getting blown off!
  • How would YOU COPE WITH SOMEONE IN YOUR PARTY GETTING BLOWN over AND INJURED?
  • The helicopter would struggle to get to you, it would be a Mountain Rescue Team that would try to assist?
  • Please think about going out in high winds?

Posted in Enviroment, Friends, Gear, Local area and events to see, Mountain Biking, Weather, Wildlife | Leave a comment

A tragic and sad Avalanche accident on Imp Peak Montana but so many lessons to learn. 

I have just read a tragic story of an Avalanche last week in the USA in Montana early October and the winter has taken its toll already. My thoughts are as always with the families and friends who have lost loved ones. Yet even this early on while there is no snow in Scotland it is worth reading into this incident as a reminder that it is easy to forget the basics when you go out in the winter. Many will know that I have worked with the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) on the history of Scottish Avalanches from 1980 to the present day. Out of this we found many interesting facts and part of the project produced enough information for the funding to support the SAIS to increase the areas that they cover in Scotland. The result was now that the North West of Scotland has a full – time winter forecast.

https://snowbrains.com

The avalanche was 1-2′ deep, 150′ wide, 300′ long.  

The slope the avalanche released was 38-45º steep with a north-northeast aspect at about 10,000′.

The below report contains full details from North America’s first avalanche fatality of 2017/18.

Inge’s death was the first avalanche fatality in North America in 2017/18.

Final Details Emerge in Montana Avalanche Death & Suicide: Skier Who Died in Avalanche Had Beacon Turned Off in Backpack

AvyBrains | October 13, 2017 | Avalanche

On October 7th, 2017, famous climbers Hayden Kennedy, 27, and Inge Perkins, 23, were caught in an avalanche on Imp Peak in Montana. Inge was fully buried, Hayden was partially buried. Hayden freed himself and tried to find Inge but was unable to locate her due to the fact that her avalanche beacon was turned off and in her backpack. 
Tragically, Inge died in the avalanche.

The pair of skiers had not done a beacon check. After 3 hours of digging and probing, Hayden walked out alone and committed suicide out of grief the following day.

It is a tragic story but it has so many tragic lessons to learn from such a tragedy. I advise all who Ski /climb in winter to read the whole report on the accident.


It is incredible that only a few days after the accident there is so much information out their for us to learn from. The information is from experts who are trained in Avalanche investigation. In the UK I feel we are so far behind the Europe USA and Canada on how they report and investigate accidents to learn from them. These are tragic events but yet in Scotland we are still awaiting reports from the big Avalanche in the Cairngorms in 2014.

I understand the grief and hurt after a tragedy more than most after 40 years involvement in tragic accidents. The Police have the responsibility  for all Mountain accidents and mountain fatalities and  unless their are suspicious circumstances or work related accidents there is little looked into each tragedy and so many lessons to learn from.

Mountain Rescue Teams may notice a failure in equipment and advise Mountaineering equipment makers and organisations of problems. The BMC have a technical committee and does its bit but surely there is a need to investigate such events in the UK after an accident to learn from each one?

 


A very difficult subject to comment on but I would appreciate any thoughts please ?

I would advise despite the mild weather to start watching the weather and avalanche forecast when they start in December. It is also worth looking on the SAIS website as it is full of information and advice before the winter arrives.

http://beaware.sais.gov.uk/

IDENTIFYING AVALANCHE HAZARD IN THE HILLS AND MOUNTAINS
THROUGHOUT THE WINTER IS A CHALLENGING PROCESS.

Constantly changing weather factors, from temperature and snowfall to wind speed and direction, can affect the strength and stability of the snowpack. So it’s vital to keep a close watch on conditions during the season – especially throughout any mountain excursions.

This guide outlines the decision-making process and the fundamental considerations of assessing avalanche hazards in the winter mountains. With the advice on these pages, together with the corresponding resources overleaf, you should be able to make better judgements on where and when to go.

Posted in Avalanche info, Enviroment, Equipment, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering | Leave a comment

A blowy wander to the Green Loch, Ryvoan bothy a poem, thoughts of family and John Muir. 

My plans were thwarted with the big winds. The car was batterd up at the car park in the Cairngorms, the forecast was right big winds. I decided  it was back to Glenmore Lodge for a wander up to the Green Loch and Ryvoan bothy. This is a magic short wander through impressive scenery and forest. I love this beautiful walk amongst ancient Caledonian pines leads to magical An Lochan Uaine the green lochan.

The magical Green Loch

I wandered down to the Loch and the wind was sipping up the waves and there was the odd big gust roaring through. There were plenty of folk about enjoying the wander and sheltered in the trees . These huge trees with the massive branches were waving in the wind and it was great to see natures strength moving the trees.

“Everybody needs beauty…places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.”
― John Muir

It reminded me of the great John Muir who climbed the huge trees in Yosemite during storms to see what nature could do. I wish I could be so brave ? He was some man.

Big Trees

The Lochan is a magical spot with the colour so green of the water. The legend says that the water is green because the pixies used to wash their clothes in the loch…..believe which ever version you want!  I have a walked here many times on the way back from a fruitless search of Strath Nethy a wild place in winter of deep snow, wild winds and little shelter. It takes you into the heart of Loch Avon and the heart of the Cairngorms. I have also returned from big hill days and short ones as the Munro Bynack Mor is a great winter starter for many. There is also an aircraft crash from the war on the plateau opposite on An Lurg where I visit regularly and have taken relatives to this wild place. It was also a place of reflection from many meeting with the Mountain Rescue Committee where a meal was missed for a run or walk up to the loch and the Ryvoan bothy.    I also enjoyed many walks with family and friends and you can take time out and have a think. One of my family was having a big operation this day and I was thinking of her and the family as I stopped on the shores of the loch.


 As I stopped the wind was wisping across the loch and the spray was soaking me at times.It was surreal at times but magical as well. The tree roots are amazing down by the loch worn,bent, open to the elements and yet the trees were huge towering above and swaying in the wind.

Ryvoan Bothy

A bit further on is Ryvoan bothy a wee shelter maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association and was another place I love there was just a family leaving after a stop out of the ind on their mountain bikes. I spent a few night here before it got so popular and today it was tidy and clean. It is a huge part of the Cairngorm culture when it gave access to the peaks in a past era. I had a look about and watched the clouds race across the sky but the tops were clear the heather brown and no snow yet. I have been here in October when the hills are white but not today. It was time to head off and it reminded me of the poem that used to be in the bothy.

Great view of the big hills.

The poem below I have heard and seen before it was left in the Ryvoan bothy during the 1939 -45 war, it is not known who wrote it but what a grand piece of poetry.  Ryvoan in these days would be a pretty quiet place unlike now where it is a short walk from Glenmore. My friend Ray Sefton that great Stravaiger of the hills (derives from eighteenth-century Scotsextravage, meaning ‘wander about;) was given it and a few others discovered in a friends attic.  I wonder what happened to the author? Ryvoan Bothy lies at the top of the Ryvoan Pass about a mile North-East of Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorms. My Dad used to visit Ryvoan in his student days and after the hills where they walked from Glenmore to he high peaks. These were hard days I bet he saw the original poem.

Enjoy!

I LEAVE TONIGHT FOR EUSTON

I shall leave tonight from Euston

By the seven-thirty train,

And from Perth in the early morning

I shall see the hills again.

From the top of Ben Macdhui

I shall watch the gathering storm,

And see the crisp snow lying

At the back of Cairngorm.

I shall feel the mist of Bhrotain

And pass by the Lairig Ghru

To look on dark Loch Einich

From the heights of Sgoran Dubh.

From the broken Barns of Bynack

I shall see the sunrise gleam

On the forehead of Ben Rinnes

And Strathspey awake from dream.

And again in the dusk of evening

I shall find once more alone

The dark water of the Green Loch,

And the pass beyond Ryvoan

For tonight I leave from Euston

And leave the world behind:

Who has the hills as a lover,

Will find them wondrous kind.

Anon

The day was not over as I headed of to Glenmore Lodge for a meal and a meeting and then a late drive home at last after a busy week!

“Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.”
― John Muir

Posted in Aircraft incidents, Bothies, Corbetts and other hills, Cycling, Enviroment, Family, Friends, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros, People, Weather | Leave a comment

A busy few days at Badaguish with the Charity Outfitmoray. A walk in the in the wind by the Green Loch.

It has been a busy week as I was just back from a wet Skye and on the Monday morning I was on my travels to Baddagusih at Glenmore in the Cairngorms to help a local charity Outfitmoray who I am the patron of. I was helping with a Respite week for 11 children. Myself and a pal from my Catering Days Bernie Foran my old boss were cooking for the kids. It was long day up at 0630 and ending by 2000 if you were lucky.

Badaguish. at Glenmore.  3-star VisitScotland accommodation amidst the forest in a secluded area of Badaguish Centre in the Cairngorms National Park – idyllic surroundings at any time of the year!Three options but all one price, they provide plenty of space (sleeping 10 to 17) depending on your sleeping arrangements. The Lodges are modern, well equipped and have the use of all on-site facilities.
Ideal for short/long breaks, meetings, training courses, as a conference venue or for bringing a group of friends/family for a special occasion. 
The choice of self catering or hire of catering services by Sandy’s Bothy is available for 
larger groups.

Respite week with Outfitmoray

Outfit Moray offer holiday and respite breaks for vulnerable and disadvantaged children from across Moray. This initiative provides a week’s holiday break for children and young people who would otherwise not get a break in that year and in particular children who live in poverty, are young carers or who have recently lost a parent.

Current statistics indicate that 1 in 5 children in Scotland live in poverty. In Moray 18.2% of children and young people live in poverty with the figure rising to over 22% in Elgin, Forres and Buckie. In a recent national survey carried out by The Princes Trust and Macquarie, 22% of young people living in poverty believe that no-one cares about them, 26% have never trusted anyone and for 21% no-one has ever said ‘I love you’. This latter figure rises to 54% in young people who have no role model.

Outfit’s holiday breaks are designed to inspire new confidence and give children the chance to have fun, try new things, get involved in outdoor learning, be creative and form positive childhood memories. These holidays will be provided in a residential context with one adult mentor supporting two children throughout the week.

If you work with children on a professional, or voluntary basis, and know of a child who could benefit from one of our holiday and respite breaks then please complete our Referral Form and return it to our Programme Team. If successful, the child’s parent or guardian will then be required to complete a Consent and Medical Form.

Outfit Moray’s holiday and respite breaks wouldn’t be possible without a dedicated team of volunteers, and we’re always looking for more people with specific experience and empathy who really want to make a difference to young lives. If you think you are a positive role model, and you’d like to offer your help with one of our  breaks, then please complete our Volunteer Application Form.

Respite week photo Outfitmoray

The week was a success and the kids got a lot out of it, they climbed, walked, rafted canoed gorge walk and had lots of fun. They helped lay the tabled, wash up and made there own sandwiches and pizzas on the last day.  It was great to see the kids and they all made an impact on us all. It takes a special person to work with these kids especially on a residential week and huge thanks to Chris, Pam, David, Bernie Fiona Bernie and  Tony.. Outfitmoray are always looking for donations and volunteers, there is no payment for the volunteers but maybe great Karma. The kids left to Gorge walk at Bridge of Brown and then home. I had hoped to get out on the tops but the gale force wind put me off and went a low level walk before a meeting at Glenmore Lodge that evening. It was a long afternoon and I was very tired a walk would surely wake me up despite the wind I was in the heart of the Cairngorms.

 

 

 

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The tale of  Teallach the two climbers and a snow hole in the Cairngorms

I once had a dog called Teallach, (the softest long-haired Alsatian you could ever meet) hefinished his Munros in 1985 and he had only twelve left for his second time around, when he unfortunately passed away. He had a life of adventures he loved winter where he knew when the snow was coming as his coat changed.  He was pretty hard core but what a companion, he was so loyal and easy going and he never let me down.

I spent many years snow-holing over 30 winters mainly in the Cairngorms it was the thing to do in the 70/80/90/2000 ‘s and still part of the syllabus of Mountain Training programmes. As RAF Mountain Rescue we would have an annual winter course which was 14 days winter mountaineering in Scotland. It was a great experience with a unique one to one ratio of pupil and instructor. The six teams and two overseas teams at one time  would send pupils and instructors and over 40 plus would attend. The experience of pupils would be varied and some of the pupils had never worn crampons or ice axes? This was their first taste of winter but we were very lucky to have some extremely  talented instructors. The course would be based at the superb Grantown On Spey  Centre home of the RAF PTI cadre who took leave and left us to their incredible facilities. Their bosses though wondered what they would come back to!

The first day started with a few lectures then off we went with huge bags to do winter skills then walk up on to the Cairngorm plateau to snow hole. Sounds easy but it is not, big bags are hard work and the arctic plateau in February is not the place to make mistakes. We always did a bit on skills and headed up to get sorted and pick a good site. I had a secret weapon my dog Teallach who joined in the fun but was aware all the time where we were. The troops always enjoyed the experience but that was because most had no clue of the dangers.  The snow hole sites are usually the lee slopes high up and sheltered and can be very busy in winter.  After the usual hard work and a hole can be built in 2 hours.  It is hard work  and you have to make sure all your kit is well-marked and away from all the snow you are moving. Big shovels and decent saws can make the job easier.  If organised you can soon you can be sorted and have a great night. We usually went out for a night navigating exercise on the plateau a  very interesting adventure and a key skill. We always mark your snow hole with an avalanche pole or ski pole at night with a light  as I once was making a brew when crashing through my roof came a well-known Glenmore Lodge instructor much to our amusement.  His name held for my book! A candle and a spacious hole makes living and cooking easier and is also a guide to how much air is available for breathing. My dog Teallach was even better  than a canary in a mine as soon as the entrance started to block he was out clearing the entrance. You have to keep checking that you have  fresh air in the snow hole at all times. I have so many stories of epics it is no wonder I never slept in a snow hole I was always prepared for the unexpected. During the night on many occasions the wind would move the snow and we would have to get out and dig ourselves out!

Teallach in a snow hole.

One night on the Cairngorm Plateau after the usual few drams in our snow – hole, we all drifted back to our own holes. Just as we were falling asleep, I heard a noise outside and thinking that it was a raid on our whisky store, sent Teallach out to chase them off. Even though Teallach was a big softy, in the dark and around the snow hole, he must have looked fearsome.  Imagine my consternation the following morning, when I went out and found two climbers curled up and shivering. They had left their sacks below Hells Lum Crag and the weather had changed drastically and could not find them.  They had staggered back onto the plateau and were in a bad way. They had seen our light and  they thought they were safe, only to be met by a huge dog, who would not let them in the snow hole.  I brought them in, gave them a brew and walked them off in the morning, meeting Cairngorm MRT, who was coming to look for our “lost” friends. (Another confession) I was reminded of this story by a photo I put up on socail media.

Be aware of what is happening outside! in the weather not easy when  in the shelter of the snow hole. Wind changes all the time and the entrance can get easily blocked. Get ready inside if its blowing heavily as when you get out life can get difficult!

Check the weather forecast and be aware that snow will move during the night in the form of spindrift and can easily block an entrance. Put all Gear not being used in a safe place away from where you are digging, mark it as it could be covered by snow fairly quickly. Wear as little as possible when digging it is hard work. Try to keep dry as possible. Use good shovels and kit.

 

Teallach on a wild day in the Cairngorms.

Check that there is enough snow to dig a snow-hole if planning to stay a night! Use an avalanche  pole to check depth and mark roof! The bigger the better, if in a big group link snow holes.  Make the ceilings as smooth as possible to stop drips. A gortex Bivy bag will keep you dry inside your sleeping bag and good sleeping insulation is very important! Remember when cooking you need air make sure the snow hole is well ventilated at all times!  Link snow holes by a rope that way you will ensure that if you have to move out quickly you can reach the other snow holes.

When inside the snow hole it is easy to forget where you are remember the wind and temperature are static inside and a big storm could be brewing  outside. If going out wear your kit. One of ours went out in inner boots and could not get back in. THE SNOW HAD FROZEN AND WAS TOO STEEP TO GET IN WITHOUT BOOTS AND AN AXE! Only the dogs barking woke us, he was lucky. He was an officer so maybe that explains it. Worth carrying a pee bottle to save you going out at night! Always tell someone you are going out, if you have to!  Leave nothing outside apart from Skis bring everything in and be ready to move in the event of a problem!  Have all your kit  really handy right beside you.

There are many more tips.

 

Teallach a cool dog and great pal

I have not snow holed for a long time and may do it again before I get to old?   I have been involved in some massive searches one where we searched the snow hole sites looking for two pals. The holes were covered under 20 feet of snow and we had to dig them out just to find the roof. It is amazing how wild and deep the snow can be in these sites after a hard winter. It has been a while since we had a hard winter but they may be back so be careful.

Missing the old dog.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Avalanche info, Enviroment, Equipment, Expeditions - Alaska - Himalayas etc, Family, Friends, Local area and events to see, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering, Weather | Leave a comment

The Skye Sculpture John MacKenzie and Norman Collie 

I love Skye after over 40 years of adventures on this magical Island . I love its history and it people and have so many incredible days on these hills and all over the Island.  I was involved with the Mountain Rescue for many years supporting the local Skye Team on many rescues and learned much from Pete Thomas and Gerry Ackroyd and many of the locals that make up incredible team. There is no mountains like them in the UK and I learned so many lessons on these great mountains. I was always in awe of those who opened up these hills for us to share, what experiences they must have had in the very early days of mountainering.

I was on the way back from Skye after a wet weekend on Saturday and I was asked to stop in at Sconser and meet Morag and Hector who along with others are trying to hard to get a Sculpture Commisioned of two of my heroes of Skye John MAcKenzie and Norman Collie. John MacKenzie is a special man Skye born and bred as it says below a hero of a time when Skye was remote as the Alps and many of the hills were not climbed. many of the local schools are involved and huge effort has been put in by so many locals over the years and I feel this needs supporting . These two men from the Golden age need recognition  by future generations and what a finer way to celebrate than this Sculpture. Can you help by donating and passing this on please. 

JOHN MACKENZIE: A SKYE HERO
Born in 1856, John MacKenzie, of Sconser on the Isle of Skye, loved to explore from an early age, first climbing Sgurr nan Gillean aged just ten. He went on to be the first ever native Scot to work as a professional guide and was hugely significant in early ascents of the Cuillin.
We are looking to commemorate his achievements and indeed his friendship with mountaineering pioneer, Norman Collie, with a bronze sculpture of both men to be erected at Sligachan on Skye. We hope to gain public appreciation for their pioneering climbs of the Cuillin and to celebrate their connection with the place, and their appreciation of the significance of the landscape within Gaelic culture.
The sculpture will sit alongside interpretation panels with more information about MacKenzie and Collie, and the surrounding area has been developed to make it accessible to all.
At the moment, we are looking for your support to go towards the building of this iconic structure in its equally iconic setting.

They are trying so hard to raise the cash to have this iconic Sculpture built overlooking the Skye ridge opposite the Sligachan. One of the most iconic views in the U.K.


   
The Heritage Group seeks to celebrate the achievements of Norman Collie and John Mackenzie with a larger than life size bronze sculpture set against the backdrop of the Cuillins on the Isle of Skye. 
To gain public appreciation of the achievements made by Collie and Mackenzie during their pioneering climbs of the Cuillin.

To promote the value and connection of the local landscape, wild places and the Gaelic culture

Charity No: SC038527

Find out more
Website

http://skyesculpture.wordpress.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-the-Skye-Sculpture-Group/133723183309837

Twitter

Flickr

YouTube


DONATIONS 2017 every penny counts please if you can help donate to this iconic Sculpture that will recognise these two true men of the mountains from another era.
Mary Crabtree, great grandniece of Norman Collie Donation £12,500
Local business Skye Donation £500
Scottish Mountaineering Trust Pledge £2000
Galloway Mountain Rescue Team Donation £100
Members of the Glenelg Mountain Rescue team Donation £500
Blairgowrie Ramblers Association Donation £100

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