The painting of Glencoe

Hamish MacInnes moved to the splendid isolation of Glencoe in 1959. Initially he moved to an old, small cottage, Altt na Ruigh.Image

When Hamish started climbing there was still a perception that climbing was a hobby of the well-to-do. When the Creagh Dhu Club was founded in the 1930s it allowed ordinary working class men from Glasgow to enjoy the sport too. They were strong and fit and they did some quite serious climbing. By the end of the Second World War these working class climbers were leading the field in Scottish mountaineering. Asked why he took to climbing so enthusiastically, Hamish says:

    ‘Undoubtedly for the freedom. There weren’t so many climbers around as there are now, so you had the most wonderful feeling of isolation, as if you had all the wild places entirely to yourself. Climbing started for me, as with most people, as the pursuit of pleasure, and that kind of developed into a way of life. I certainly have very fond memories of my climbing experiences, all over the world, but one of my lasting ‘hobbies’ if you like, is mountain rescue, and developing rescue equipment. It gives me a lot of satisfaction because it’s something a lot of people will get a direct benefit from. I’ve been lucky to have this inclination for design work.’


Perhaps it is time that the folk angered by the BBC’s failure to unfriend Jimmy Saville should stop painting the place with anti paedophile slogans.

About Duncan Harley

Author, photographer and feature writer.
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