More on the Scott Karabiner for Mick Tighe Scottish Mountaineering Heritage Collection!

The Scott Karabiners any info on them would be appreciated?

The Scott Karabiners any info on them would be appreciated?

Young Mick Tighe that well known Guide asked if I could find out anymore information on the Scott Karabiner for his incredible collection of mountaineering equipment he has stored over the year. I did a piece on January the 8th 2012 on my Blog but have had little feedback since. Can you help. I was issued with these in the RAF Mountain Rescue Team in 1971 and they were standard issue along with a climbing belt and a few slings!

This is all I have Mick

Scott Krabs  (June 2014)

I believe their original use was in the hold of cargo planes – as a connection between retaining strap/strop and cargo net. I have a feeling someone spotted them, managed to get hold of the stores number and then put a demand in – verwollar. That’s the story I was told from the 60’s – they were the only carabiniers I used at one time, they were prone to unclipping by themselves, eventually I got rid of mine and bought my own ‘proper’ ones.

Don Shanks – who was the Team Leader at RAF Leuchars before me. He said the Karabiner above that we were issued with was used to hold down cargo nets in RAF aircraft cargo holds. They were noticed by team members who worked on the aircraft and were used as runners.

Frank Mc Kenzie – Heavy, the Scott karabiner was used for static line parachuting at the training school at Abingdon many a year ago


The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection (SMHC)

This is from their website

“is a unique assortment of mountain memorabilia from Scotland and around the world, which has been cobbled together here on our website in what we hope is a legible and enjoyable format. The site is a living thing as we continue to update, improve and add new acquisitions. So, please take a tour around our virtual museum and let us know if you have any ideas, new information, or indeed any donations. Brief History of The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection

Napoleon it was who asserted that “England was a nation of shopkeepers” but I have been unable to find a quote which asserts that the British are a nation of collectors, even when the evidence points that way. It is difficult to find someone who doesn’t collect something or other, even though objects collected, such as barbed wire, bus tickets or supermarket carrier bags, may seem odd to some.

Not wishing to buck the national trend, somewhere back in the mists of time, I started collecting mountaineering equipment. Most mountaineers can find a place on the wall for an old ice axe, a pair of wooden skis maybe, or perhaps granddad’s old primus stove polished on the mantelpiece. The problem is when to stop.

As with everything else in life, mountaineering gear comes in all shapes and sizes, various makes and models, and perhaps more importantly, a story. The gentleman mountaineer of the late 1800’s with his rich portmanteau gave way to the working class folk of the 1920’s and 30’s who would use old military gear if they could afford it, or make their own if they couldn’t. A similar era ensued after World War 11 and each of these eras has left a legacy of literature and equipment which we can now collect… the antiques of the mountaineer.

My personal collection soon became a scrum of junk in the lovely stone built barn which was built expressly for – a different purpose! Pungent, primus stove aromas would assault the nostrils when the door was opened and a wrong move might trigger an avalanche of skis, old ice axes or rucksacks. Ancient first aid kits would be at the ready for puncture wounds from a rusty ice screw, crampon, or bent ski pole. Items were bought at auction, lofts were cleared, bags posted, and in one case, a rare prototype ice axe was rescued from a fire. One way or the other the pile got bigger.

Quite why people collect things is perhaps left for the psychologists to decide. There comes a time, however, when something has to happen and I well remember a dear old friend of mine being moved to tears on discovering that his ‘pile of junk’ had been consigned to the skip by his wife while he was away on holiday. In my case, thoughts of what to do next were always put on the back burner while my life as a mountain guide required me to be elsewhere… until 2004.

The Nevis Partnership is an amalgam of interested parties gathered together to manage Ben Nevis and its environs for the common good. Members include the John Muir Trust, the Highland Council, The local Community Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, local landowners and others. In 2004, the Partnership applied for several thousand pounds of Heritage Lottery money to repair the Ben Nevis paths. Unfortunately, this initial request was refused since the good folk at the Heritage Lottery didn’t see much heritage in a footpath. Jonathon Hart was the Partnership manager at the time and knowing of my collection he asked if it could be included in a further bid to beef up the ‘heritage’ element. The second bid was successful and in the spring of 2006 several thousand pounds were allocated to the Ben Nevis footpath project, with a smaller amount being given to the collection – the money being allocated specifically to archive, catalogue and preserve the collection and provide the bespoke web-site that you see here. This funding was dependant on the collection becoming an official charity and this was achieved in December 2006 when The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection was registered with the office of the Scottish Charity Regulator ( OSCR ) as number SCO37653.

So we have mucked out the barn, cleaned, polished, preserved and archived our way through the collection with the result here on the web site. No general public access to the collection at the moment but we are working on it. As an old friend of mine used to say, “Show me a man without a dream and I’ll show you a man who’s stone dead.”

Mick Tighe, Autumn 2009 – any gear Mick and the heritage may be interested in? Contact Mick.



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 Equipment, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to More on the Scott Karabiner for Mick Tighe Scottish Mountaineering Heritage Collection!

  1. Ian Rideout says:

    These do look remarkably like the clips we used on the HS 748 freighter (from my days as a loadmaster) to secure the cargo nets, although at the time, I never thought of them as anything other than that. Probably considered them too bulky to borrow for climbing!


  2. heavywhalley says:

    Long time ago Ian!


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