IA trip to Rockall,300 miles West of the Hebrides and some new climbs on a lonely sea stack..

I was looking for a good photo of Scotty when I came across my photos of a trip to Rockall in July 1982. Rockall is a long way out from the Hebrides and we were asked to safeguard a group of Board of Trade technicians to assist in putting a light on the rock. We flew out by a Bristow Chinook helicopter from Stornoway, it was a long way out. The group was John Coull,  Derek Scott, Steve Ross and me.  As we approached the rock it was tiny dot on the horizon and a wild winch, as this was 1982 and it was an early days in winching with this type of helicopter, The top of the stack is covered in wet slippy rock and a scary place to be, the downdraft was incredible, it made for interesting times. We also replaced a plaque reclaiming it as British territory as we were in the middle of a political storm with the Irish at that time.

 We were on Rockall  for about 6 hours as the helicopter went back to refuel, we felt very alone. A destroyer was nearby and a Nimrod gave us top cover, these were the days. I note we are not wearing wet suits or life jackets! After we had done our bit we climbed all over the Stack worrying  the Board of trade people. We must have done several new routes! I must get them in the SMC Journal! It was a great adventure and we had 2 superb nights in Stornoway and were celebrities for a day. Scotty was great fun and we had a ball I wonder if it would happen nowadays!

Those were the days, of golfing today if the weather holds, to be young again!

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
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