Hamish Mc Inness The Fox of Glencoe,Mountaineer, Rescuer, engineer, film -maker and designer. A true great.

The Terror an amazing revolution in ice climbing.

I was listening to the weather forecast and Scotland may be in for a bit of weather next week. It  will be time to check the ice axes and crampons again. It is incredible how one person has changed the face of winter mountaineering by some of his inventions. Hamish was an amazing mountaineer with so many great climbs all over the world. He was at the forefront of Scottish winter climbing and many of the great climbers of the 60’s & 70’s came to Scotland to see what was happening with this new revolution in ice climbing.

Hamish Terror axe and hammer had made a huge impact on winter mountaineering. By making the ice pick drooped and the axe of all metal he revolutionised the design of ice tools. There had been various tragedy’s with axes breaking whilst on ice climbs and Hamish an engineer by trade used his skill to design a new axe. He was already made huge improvements in the design of Mountain Rescue stretchers which made them lighter and more robust. The world of mountaineering and rescue owes this great man so much. Hamish is a world renowned film-maker and still lives in Glencoe in the heart of the mountains he loves. He gave me an interview a few years ago, where he gave me an insight into his life in rescue and the design of the terror axe and hammer and the ideas for his stretchers and other inventions, what a man. He is also an author of many books, one of the finest is his epic “Callout” given to me by my father many years ago. I worked with Hamish a lot in my years in Mountain Rescue and it was like meeting a legend, yet he is so unassuming, another of my heroes  This wee interview is an incredible insight into this amazing man and the efforts of the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team. Many mountaineers owe Hamish a great deal especially all those who he rescued along with Glencoe MRT over the years. Every winter I look at my equipment and see how yearly it has improved but in those early days Hamish’s ideas were incredible. There is even an injury caused by constant use of his axes and hammers, called “Terror knuckle” caused by hitting the ice repetitively.

Today’s tip; check your winter kit, axes, crampons and all your gear after every climb for wear and tear and replace when necessary!

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.
This entry was posted in Friends, History, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Hamish Mc Inness The Fox of Glencoe,Mountaineer, Rescuer, engineer, film -maker and designer. A true great.

  1. There’s no delicate way of putting this, so I’ll just go for it. It Hamish McInnes still alive? Haven’t heard anything of him for years. It’d be nice to hear he’s still getting in amongst the hills.


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