I wrote this two years ago about the planned Sculpture on Skye.
“I love Skye after over 40 years of adventures on this magical Island . I love its history and it people and have so many incredible days on these hills and all over the Island. I was involved with the Mountain Rescue for many years supporting the local Skye Team on many rescues and learned much from Pete Thomas and Gerry Ackroyd and many of the locals that make up incredible team. I would meet many of the guides working the mountains on a regulate basis. To me this was the most difficult place on a rescue in the UK.
There are no mountains like them in the UK and I learned so many lessons on these great mountains. I was always in awe of those who opened up these hills for us to share, what experiences they must have had in the very early days of mountaineering.
I was on the way back from Skye after a wet weekend on Saturday and I was asked to stop in at Sconser and meet Morag and Hector who along with others are trying to hard to get a Sculpture Commisioned of two of my heroes of Skye John MAcKenzie and Norman Collie. John MacKenzie is a special man Skye born and bred as it says below a hero of a time when Skye was remote as the Alps and many of the hills were not climbed. many of the local schools are involved and huge effort has been put in by so many locals over the years and I feel this needs supporting . These two men from the Golden age need recognition by future generations and what a finer way to celebrate than this Sculpture.
This is from the Skye Sculpture Group. They have all work so hard to get a sculpture of the early pioneers of Skye acknowledged. It will be sited with a view of the Cuillin.
“We made it! After sixteen years our funding target has finally been reached! The sculpture will be made! Huge thanks to everyone who has believed in us and supported us throughout our long fundraising campaign! https://news.stv.tv/highlands-islands/new-117k-sculpture-will-pay-tribute-to-mountaineers?noq
Born in 1856, John MacKenzie, of Sconser on the Isle of Skye loved to explore from an early age, first climbing Sgurr nan Gillean aged just ten. He went on to be the first ever native Scot to work as a professional guide and was hugely significant in early ascents of the Cuillin.
Professor Norman Collie, a renowned climber, was a frequent visitor to Sligachan. He and John Mackenzie became firm friends and working together they established routes across the Cuillin range which have become recognised as so familiar today.
The Collie MacKenzie Heritage Group are commemorating the achievements of both men with a bronze sculpture of both figures to be erected at Sligachan on Skye in 2020. Our aim is to gain public appreciation of their pioneering climbs of the Cuillin and to celebrate their connection with the place, and their appreciation of the significance of the landscape within Gaelic culture.
The Collie MacKenzie Heritage Group works closely with the Sligachan Hotel. Both men based themselves at this historic hotel when planning their pioneering climbs. Sligachan and the hotel will play host to the unveiling of the sculpture which is planned for Autumn 2020. “
I am so please that they have achieved it what a lovely tale on a wild weekend.