Hamish MacInnes was born in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland in 1930. A legend in the field of mountaineering, he pioneered many of Scotland's most challenging climbs and numerous testpiece routes overseas. As well as founding both the Search and Rescue Dog Association and the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team, Hamish's revolutionary MacInnes Stretcher is still used worldwide, and his all-metal ice axe was a game-changer for modern alpinism. He was also a prolific author, publishing 26 books, including the seminal International Mountain Rescue Handbook (1972) and the classic Call Out (1973), in which he recalled his experiences with the Glencoe Mountain Rescue team. The Scottish Mountaineering Press are delighted to be publishing The Fox of Glencoe, a collection of unseen and retold memoirs from Hamish MacInnes.
Few people cram as much into a lifetime as Hamish did, and these memoirs reflect his restless curiosity and ability to marshal loyalty and support for the most outlandish schemes. The result is an eclectic array of tales that include youthful and historic first ascents; a disorganised attempt on Everest with only £40 and a borrowed tent; hunting for treasure in South America; dangling film stars from DIY contraptions off the North Face of the Eiger; hot air ballooning off Ben Nevis; building a remote cabin; and much else besides. Tenacious and inventive by nature, Hamish continued to commit much of his life to promoting mountain safety and rescue. This legacy is vividly brought to life through unseen and retold stories, images and additional narratives from some of his closest friends, including Sir Michael Palin and Sir Chris Bonington.
At its heart, The Fox of Glencoe is a portrait of a life lived to the full, capturing the enterprising spirit of a bygone age. It will strike a chord with anyone with a keen sense of adventure and a love for wild places, and who sees possibilities rather than constraints. Hamish's unorthodox character and pragmatic approach to risk and loss represent a coolheaded, stoical philosophy that transcends the art of mountaineering and can be applied to any aspect of contemporary life.
"At 3:00 am, with headlamps probing the gloom, we crept up Cotopaxi's glaciated flanks, turning sinister-looking crevasses and ascending steep icy walls. It was bitterly cold, and by the time we approached the summit, the wind cut through us like the arrow grass of the plains below. The violet sky was littered with stars and the great expanse of the Amazon was bathed in diffused light as we reached the rim of the vast crater, where an ominous-looking wisp of smoke eddied as if at the behest of an unseen deity." - extract.
This 368 page colour-illustrated hardback is available directly from Scottish Mountaineering Press website either as standard or special (slipcased) edition, it will also be available from major retailers across the UK.