Archive for October, 2012

Sunburn Central 24th October


Privileged to go to work today; Beinn na Caillich with her veil of mist hugging like a shawl, the colours in the trees driving through Torrin, hot sunshine and not a breath of wind, fantastic climbing, great company and a sunset to boot.

Ally works with the John Muir Trust in Kilmarie and fancied trying his hand at climbing. After the standard single day “learn to climb” action I decided to test us both on the impressive line of Hairy Mary. I found it twice as hard & steep as last time. Luckily Ally has huge arms (from dragging deer carcasses around) that hung on so well that he even got one stuck! As the other option was swinging off into space & lowering off for an early bath both of us were mighty relieved 😉














Ally about to set off on his space-walk!


Can ya spot the sharks circling?




Skye Guides 2013 Calendar for sale.


UPDATE JANUARY 2013- Limited copies are still available and retailing at £10 including UK postage. e-mail us to order.

By popular request we have decided to produce a Skye Guides calendar for 2013. The theme is simply a balance of the best scenery shots that we have taken since the digital era took over.

It will take the format of an A3 appointment calendar. We are only planning a limited print run so please e-mail us to register an interest as soon as possible.  Cost is expected to be £11-99 including postage and packing to UK addresses.


Alpine training feedback.



Many thanks to John Rushton and the White Hart mountaineers for some great action pictures from their trip to the Valais Alps this summer.

Mischabel Group behind. the Nadelhorn is the 2nd major peak from the right.

Back in January we ran an Alpine training course for John’s team of 6- see pictures of this in the January Blog

It is always great to hear follow-up from clients particularly when the skills learnt have been put to full use-

 “Hello Mike

Our group from Essex was at yours for mountain training in January. We went to the Alps in Mid July and the training you gave us was perfect for it. We first went up Weismiess split into two groups of 3. We all made it up, the first up that day, and had no trouble although there were a lot of crevasses.

Among the crevasses & seracs on the NW face of the Weissmies.

We then went up The Nadelhorn. Steve, Tom, Marco and I went for it and the ridge training with the mixed snow and ice was perfect. We used all the training you gave us and were glad of it.

Full Scottish conditions on the Nadelhorn!

I’m now looking forward to some more excellent craic in January with the team that trains most intensely in the White Hart; happy days-

We would like four days training in January to take it a bit further and tackle some grade III routes. John Rushton


The man who met Norman Collie


Skye-born Munro-bagger’s link with Cuillin history.

In May this year our Skye Guide Malcom Airey guided 79 year old Alasdair MacPherson, along with his daughter Fiona, on an ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle. Malcolm was amazed to hear that Alasdair had once met the great Cuillin pioneer Professor J. Norman Collie.

Alasdair was born in Kraiknish by Eynort in 1932, the 2nd of 7 sons born to Duncan & Margaret MacPherson. In 1938, on a return journey from an auntie’s house in the Braes, he was taken to the Sligachan Hotel. It was here that Norman Collie was pointed out to him in the hotel lounge. Although his own encounter was very limited it seems that Collie was well known amongst the local crofters both through the hotel and accompanying him on the hill.

Collie had discovered the joys of climbing on Skye in 1887 and went on to pioneer many climbs throughout the world but made no secret that his heart lay in the Cuillin. He had retired to Skye shortly before Alasdair’s encounter with him and lived at the hotel for nearly a decade looking out on the peaks he knew so well. He died in 1942 and was laid to rest in a grave adjoining that of his Skye Guide and good friend John Mackenzie for whom he had so much admiration.

Alasdair himself left the island at the age of 18, qualified as a veterinary surgeon at Glasgow University and is now retired and living in Stonehaven. Having climbed the hardest of all the Munros he now has only 34 peaks left to compleat his round.