Climber’s ‘final tour’ of his beloved Glen Coe

the Fox of Glencoe


The world-renowned mountaineer and inventor Dr Hamish MacInnes, who died this week, aged 90, is to be taken on a “final tour” of his beloved Glen Coe.

Mr MacInnes, who was born in Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway, moved to the glen in 1959.

A hearse carrying his coffin, which will have two crossed ice axes on top, will pass through Glencoe village and then Glen Coe on 4 December.

Dr MacInnes is to be cremated in a private ceremony in Glasgow.

During the journey the hearse will stop briefly outside Glencoe’s David Cooper’s Coffee Shop, where Dr MacInnes was a regular for many years and could be found sat a table with a pot of tea “with only a very weak passing of a tea bag,” according to friends.

The hearse will then pause at Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team centre – Dr MacInnes founded the team and was a former team leader – and finally outside his home in Glen Coe before heading for Glasgow.

Dr MacInnes climbed the Matterhorn in the Alps when he was just 16 and went on to found mountain rescue teams, lead expeditions and write books on mountaineering.

Dr MacInnes is credited with inventing climbing’s first all-metal ice axe and a rescue stretcher.

His design for a stretcher has been used by rescue teams, and military special forces, all over the world.

The all-metal ice axe, which he made in a shed attached to his house in the 1960s, replaced tools with wooden shafts that could snap when under pressure, such as during a fall while climbing on ice or snow.

Two ice axes of his design will be placed on his coffin.


Nicknamed the Fox of Glencoe due to his “cunning as a mountaineer”, he had extensive experience and knowledge of climbing.

He was the founder of Scotland’s Search and Rescue Dog Association and set up of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service.

Dr MacInnes took part in more than 20 climbing expeditions abroad, including four to Mount Everest and was almost killed in an avalanche on the peak in 1975.

In the 1970s, Dr MacInnes was also an adviser on Clint Eastwood’s film The Eiger Sanction and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and also The Mission starring Robert De Niro in the 1980s.

He died at his home in Glen Coe on Sunday.

Source: Climber’s ‘final tour’ of his beloved Glen Coe

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