I was very fortunate to meet so many great mentors in RAF Mountain Rescue. John Hinde was one who helped me a lot and gave me so much of the history of the Mountain Rescue Service. John was a superb mountaineer. Many never knew John was a big part of the first British ascent of Denali in 1962 there is a great account in the John Hinde Diaries a blog by his daughter. A great read. He had climbed all over the world including Dhaulagiri in the Himalayas.
John was still in the RAF Kinloss Team when I joined in 1972. He took me to Skye on an early attempt at Sgurr na Gillian on Skye in winter. We aborted near the summit as John’s frostbite on his feet from Denali were causing problems and were frozen.On the descent he told us a wee part of the story Alaska was a different place then. John was a wonderful story teller and we used to be enthralled by his tales of epics from the past 40 years. He was an ex Team Leader then but so happy to pass on his knowledge to all.
John was the Scottish Mountain Rescue Stats officer for many years. His knowledge was outstanding and he gave me a huge interest in what happens. He did so much through his knowledge for Mountain Safety and through his work the Archive of these years is very well documented. He also helped build the old abseil posts into Coire Leis (Ben Nevis) now gone with the Kinloss team and Hamish after a few accidents. https://diariesofjohnhinde.wordpress.com/about/
June 2012 – Ben Nevis Abseil Posts Removed
The eight abseil posts leading down from the Carn Mor Dearg arête into Coire Leis on the north side of Ben Nevis have been removed. The majority of the poles had fallen into disrepair and were unsafe to use. The highest abseil post provided a useful navigation aid and is to be replaced by a two metre high cairn that will be constructed in the same style as the other navigation cairns which currently exist across the summit plateau. This cairn will mark the top of the obvious descent line into Coire Leis in poor visibility. The cairn will be constructed by the landowners – The John Muir Trust. The cairn is in place from the end of July 2012 and will be located at Grid Reference NN 17078 71000
Tower Ridge – After a tragic job on Ben Nevis on 1972 when 3 Navy climbers fell on Tower ridge. After we got the casualties to the CIC hut I was volunteered to climb the route with John and two others.I had never climbed the ridge before it was a scary, wet day. John did a drawing of where he thought the climbers had fallen from. I found it pretty intimidating at 20 years old but John looked after us all day, It was a day I will never forget. I was amazed looking back why John took me but I learned so much on that tragic day.
When John retired we met him all over Scotland where he worked for the,Moray Sea school and Outward Bound Locheil many folk have great stories about this new part of his life.
He introduced so many to the mountains, gave them a love of the hills and wild places. He continued doing the Stats officer for Scottish mountain Rescue. I was on the Executive for 20 years often we worked late into the night before a big meeting John would stop the flow to tell us another great story.
John was a member of the SMC and my local club the Moray Mountaineering Club (MMC) He was extremely well thought off. He was always passing on his information on the wild places to younger members especially in the MMC .
I last saw John on 2001 heading across the Cairngorm plateau with a huge bag. We had just finished a route on Hells Lum. We had a great chat and then he was off. He was in his 70’s then and made a big impression on my young group. He was full of plans and his heart burned for these mountains. There was little he did not know about these Glen’s and Bothies he stravaiged all over and is regularly talked about to this day (2023)
Lots more written by John’s Daughter Fiona through www. John Hindes Diaries great reading. There is also lots of John stories in Two star red and book on RAF Mountain Rescue in the early days by Gwen Moffat.
Any photos stories please add them all are welcome .
Spent a day on Ben Wyvis with John. The vib soul came off his boot on the way up and he put a spare sock over it and carried on!
Barry and I met him on Mount Keen on one of his trans Scotland treks.
He had many tales of his life on the mountains and would often share them with us.
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