The famous Bull Call – out on the 5 Sisters of Kintail – George the Bull.

Getting the Bull Of the hill on the 5 Sisters of Kintail – The Saddle in the distance.

Looking back it good to have a laugh at some of the things that happend. In the early 70’s the team received a call from the Skye Police that walkers had reported a Bull on the summit ridge of the 5 Sisters. It was not a happy Bull and walkers had to avoid it by a detour on the ridge. They reported it to the local Police and they called the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue team who thought at the time it was a joke but it was a real request for help. A party was sent up and located the Bull on the ridge ( not difficult). I wonder how they got it to start coming down. The story we were told it had been frightened by a car on the main road and bolted up the hill become one of the first Bulls at a Munro summit.

I wonder how many have done that? I wonder how Health and Safety and the Risk Assessments would be for this incident today?

Not a great photo but the Bull descending back to the lower ground. The hills were safe again.

It was one of the lighter moments in Mountain Rescue and must have been a big talking point at the time. I wonder if any of the Kintail Mountain Rescue Team know the story?

The Five Sisters of Kintail

A classic ridge walk taking in three Munros, the Five Sisters give a wonderful days excursion with magnificent views.


The going is very steep on ascent; there is a little scrambling along the ridge itself and much rocky ground.

Comments welcome.

The crazy rescue of George the Bull Rescue

George was reluctant to co – operate and rope was eventually secured round his horns. After 4 hours of gentle exertion he persuaded to descend 1000 ft. However by this time he was showing signs of peevishness and had made several charges at his would be rescuers. They were somewhat relieved when at this stage his owners took over and managed to coax him down to their farms and his girlfriends.

From Alan Boulton via my blog

“I arrived in Kintail in 78 as the NTS ranger and this story was still fresh. My recollection was that this was a dept of Agriculture bull on loan and you saved the crofters the embarrassment of explaining that they couldn’t return the bull because he wouldn’t come down from the top of a Munro.”

From Wullie Fraser Kintail MRT

“Yes…thankfully a bit before my time….but recollect Dolan Macmillan and John Ross embellishing the incident on numerous occasions.

Oh what fun we had before the days of risk assessment.”

I wonder what the Risk Assessment would be of this rescue? Is it in the Mountain Leadership Syllabus and does it classify as “Objective Dangers in Mountaineering” 

Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe reaches a height of 1027 metres (3369 feet) making it Munro number 104 in terms of height.] It is one of three Munros which make up the famous Five Sisters of Kintail group of hills (the others being Sgùrr Fhuaran and Sgùrr na Càrnach) and is often climbed as part of the walk which takes in the full Five Sisters ridge. The mountain is not particularly photogenic and it is difficult to get a good impression of it from the A87 because of the steepness of its slopes as they fall into Glen Shiel.

The hill’s Gaelic name translates as the Peak of the Black Chest or Coffin. The meaning of the name is unsure but it is thought to refer to an unusual deep rocky hollow near the summit which lies between the main ridge and a false crest. This can be dangerous in mist or snow conditions. Other sources say that the name refers to the deep hollow of the Allt Dearg on the hills south west slope.[4] The mountain should not be confused with another Munro called Ciste Dhubh which lies just 7 km to the east. It may never be the same after this incident!

Comment from Gordon Binnie :

Opening a cows airway en route to a search area. It had fallen into a ditch and was struggling to breathe. With the legendary Mick Tighe and Kenny Harris Oban Mountain Rescue Team

Mick Tighe and Kenny Harris

From Gordon Binnie

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 and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, mountain safety, Munros, People, Views Mountaineering, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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