So long Hamish

  • Another of the great ones has left us.
    Hamish MacInnes is gone.
    The cut and paste from "The Scotsman" below doesn't even begin to give a clue to his impact on climbing in general and winter climbing in particular.

    Obituary: Hamish MacInnes, Scottish mountaineer and inventor
    Dr Hamish MacInnes OBE BEM, mountaineer. Born: July 7 1930 in Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway. Died: November 23 2020 in Glencoe, Highland, aged 90.
    Scottish and International mountaineer, mountain search and rescuer, engineer and successful author Hamish MacInnes has died at home in Glencoe, aged 90.
    He was a world authority on mountain rescue and author of the International Mountain Rescue Handbook, as well as the designer and manufacturer of the game-changing MacInnes Stretcher and all-metal ice axe.
    Hamish was born on July 7 1930 in Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire, in Galloway.
    He conquered the Matterhorn in the Alps at the age of 16 and made two attempts at Mount Everest later in life.
    He made the first winter ascent of Crowberry Ridge Direct and of Raven's Gully on Buachaille Etive Mòr with Chris Bonington in 1953.
    He designed the first all-metal ice axe, and is credited with introducing the short ice axe and hammer with inclined picks for Scottish winter work in the early 1960s.
    In addition, Hamish pioneered the exploration of the Glencoe cliffs for winter work with the Glencoe School of Winter Climbing and for many years led the area's Mountain Rescue team.
    He is recognised as having developed modern mountain rescue in Scotland, setting up the Search and Rescue Dog Association and the Avalanche Information Service, and inventing the MacInnes stretcher, which is used for rescues worldwide.
    “He had much endurance as a winter climber during the Fifties and Sixties when climbers didn't benefit from the gear we have today”, said Neil Reid from the Mountaineering Scotland Society.
    In 1975, Hamish was deputy leader to Chris Bonington's successful Mount Everest Southwest Face expedition, which included famed mountaineers Dougal Haston and Doug Scott.
    Hamish was involved with a number of Hollywood films, as climber, climbing double and safety officer, including The Eiger Sanction with Clint Eastwood, Five Days One Summer with Sean Connery, and The Mission with Robert De Niro.

  • My condolences to his family & many friends. My life is poorer for having never met him, although I did enjoy some good stories about him, from British climber, photographer, author John Cleare, back in the mid-1970's.

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