Dog Tales from the back of Land Rover – Part 8 – The Skye Ridge – eat your heart out Danny MacCaskill.

The In Pin On Skye

The In Pin On Skye

1984 – That winter was a long one and life changed as Heavy got promoted and posted to RAF Leuchars in Fife. He was still in trade and was in charge of the Catering Office but would join the Leuchars MRT. Now I had met the Leuchars guys on many occasions and was looking forward to the move. Heavy was a bit unsure and we got a great send off from Kinloss. Kinloss and Leuchars was a bit like Rangers and Celtic in these days.  We lived in St Andrews for a while but soon moved into a shared house in Dairsie and had a great time. Heavy was sharing with two mates Paul and Pete and it was a fun house a bit like the Young Ones.  RAF Leuchars camp was very busy as it had very noisy planes on it but we soon settled in and I stayed at Heavy’s work during the day. They had the Wessex helicopter at Leuchars and they were great and made my life easy with lifts to and from the hills. On the helicopter the aircrew were fun and many became good mates and looked after me. I knew my place and was soon on board and hidden under the seats as soon as I got on the helicopter. The helicopter came out with us and stayed overnight on many occasions I was the guard at times in places like the Kings House in Glencoe for the yellow helicopter, these were great days. They had lots of Exercises at RAF Leuchars as this was during the Cold  War and the camp played war games and on one marines attacked our office. It was an old armoury and were shocked when they took out the door to find me and Heavy there to greet them. I had to kid on I was a real Alsatian and they did not come in I was a hero again.

Teallach in Pin 3

The troops made me feel at home and we climbed a lot at night and I had great adventures at Dunkeld rock climbing and the local cliffs at Glen Clova I got lots of new hills in great for my Munro  gathering and met lots of new people. We met Kinloss a lot and I made a good friend with Al MacLeod who used to take me running after a long hill day, he was a real hill man. We dealt with a lot more call ous or climbing and even when out at the weekend we seemed to get more call outs. We went to Glencoe a lot and I got to know this wild place, I met more Mountain Rescue characters and even visited Hamish Mc Innes house in Glencoe and some of the “Old and bold from Lochaber”.  We had some great trips to Skye and Heavy took me on a two day traverse of the ridge,just him and me. We had a some epics and had only had one more Munro to do on Skye the In Pin after it. I had fallen off on another attempt with Heavy as we tried the longer side. On the day we did it he never told me, we climbed all day on the Cioch in Coire Laggan and I would wander about on the ledges. I could get up the first pitch Of Cioch Direct and meet climbers at the crux by a cheeky ledge Heavy knew. Later that day we went up the long haul to the In Pin and along with three of Heavy’s great mates, I got up it.

Teallach going down 7

It was a great night but I howled a bit as we went up the short side. A very bemused walker on the ridge alone was freaked out by my howling on the ridge it was an amazing day though but one I did not want to repeat. Heavy abseiled of with me on the way down and I was glad it was all over. I had a big swim in the sea and a great walk off at the end of a long day for me, followed by Heavy and the troops.

Letting us know that he has had enough!

Letting us know that he has had enough!


About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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