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Top Award For ‘Stalwart’ Of Scottish Mountaineering, Mick Tighe

Mick Tighe, a guide, rescuer, trainer and pioneer who embodies the spirit of Scottish mountaineering, wins the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture 2016.


Organisers of The Fort William Mountain Festival are pleased to announce that the ninth recipient of the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture is Mick Tighe. Nominated by the public and his peers as a mountain hero who celebrates achievement, accomplishment and the spirit of adventure, Mick joins previous winners such as Hamish MacInnes, Jimmy Marshall and Myrtle Simpson in the Excellence in Mountain Culture Hall of Fame.

Those who nominated Mick for the award described him as embodying the spirit of Scottish mountaineering, whether through his work as a guide, rescuer, trainer, pioneer of many new routes and latterly with his writings, film work and setting up of the Scottish Mountaineering Heritage Collection.

Mike Pescod, Chairman of the Highland Mountain Culture Association, organisers of the Festival, said:

“Mick embodies the spirit of mountaineering perfectly, from its slightly rebellious side to its social and cultural side. Mick has dedicated his life to mountaineering and has helped countless others do so as well. It was Mick who first came to rescue me after an accident eleven years ago so it is on a very personal level that I say I am delighted that Mick is the recipient of this year’s Mountain Culture Award.”

For the best part of thirty years, alongside running his own business as a mountain guide, Mick has given selfless service to Mountain Rescue as both a member of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team and as National Training Officer for Mountain Rescue in Scotland.

He has contributed numerous articles and photographs to various climbing and walking publications and for many years he did his annual round of Winter Mountain Safety Lectures throughout the UK for the charity Boots Across Scotland.

As an inveterate collector, Mick has amassed, perhaps, the largest collection of mountain artefacts, equipment, literature, photographs and other memorabilia in the UK which he donated to create the Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection, of which he is a Trustee. The collection is catalogued and photographed on a website, allowing access to anyone in the world, although it is a long held ambition of Mick’s to house the physical collection in its own museum, rather than his barn!

Born in Derbyshire, Mick Tighe joined the Royal Marines at the age of seventeen. During his ten years’ service, he qualified as a Mountain and Arctic Warfare Instructor, and spent seven winters in Arctic Norway. After leaving the service, he qualified as a British and International Mountain Guide and worked as an instructor with The Joint Services Mountain Training Centre at Tulloch before starting his own guiding business, Nevis Guides. As well as a member of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team for nearly thirty years, Mick was the National Training Officer to all of Scotland’s Mountain Rescue Teams for ten years. Having moved to Glen Roy, just north of Fort William, when he left the Marines in 1977, Mick is still there, happily married to his wife Kathy.

The award will be presented to Mick during the Fort William Mountain Festival which runs in and around Fort William and Lochaber, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, from 17 to 21 February 2016.

To find out more about the Fort William Mountain Festival 2016 go to:

Facebook –

Twitter – / #FWMF2016

The Fort William Mountain Festival is presented by Jöttnar, technical clothing for mountaineering, winter climbing and all-mountain skiing –

The Fort William Mountain Festival wish to thank the following sponsors and supporters – Jöttnar, Three Wise Monkey’s Climbing, Rare Breed Productions, The Alexandra Hotel, Thistly Cross Cider, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, Ellis Brigham, Rio Tinto Alcan, Foundation Scotland, Corpach Boat Building Co. Ltd, The Nevis Landscape Partnership, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Hotscot, Cotswold Outdoor, Nevis Range Mountain Resort, John Muir Trust, Printsmith, Lamont Design, Allround Signs, Abacus Mountain Guides, The Granite House, No Fuss Events, Bill Scott Architects.




Notes to Editors


The Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture

This prestigious annual award recognises and celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of one inspiring individual and their outstanding contributions to Scotland’s mountains, encompassing sport, theatre, art, photography, film and literature.

9The award was set up in 2008 by the Highland Mountain Culture Association Ltd, organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival, and is sponsored by Rio Tinto Alcan through Foundation Scotland.

Previous winners:

Robin Campbell (2015)

Andy Nisbet (2014)

Myrtle Simpson (2013)

Dr Adam Watson (2012)

Ian Sykes (2011)

Jimmy Marshall (2010)

Richard Else (2009)

Dr Hamish MacInnes (2008)


Useful Websites:

Lochaber Chamber of Commerce –

Outdoor Capital of the UK-


The Nevis Landscape Partnership. Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis represent one of Scotland’s most treasured landscapes, yet one that is seriously under-resourced. The Nevis Landscape Partnership, constituting a wide range of stakeholders and communities, is cohered around a shared vision: to protect this unique place for the future; to manage it collectively; to view it holistically; and to give voice to its diversity and many communities –


Jöttnar – The Fort William Mountain Festival is presented by Jöttnar, technical clothing for mountaineering, winter climbing and all-mountain skiing. “We were in the Norwegian mountains during a fierce Arctic winter when inspiration took hold: the development of a technical outdoor clothing range that would protect against the raging brutality around us, but also capture the purity and elegance of the Scandinavian landscape.


“As mountaineers, as well as former Royal Marines, we knew the importance of creating our products with the most savage conditions in mind. Our clothing has since withstood the demands of the most exacting users in the most ferocious conditions.”


3 Wise Monkey’s Climbing Three Wise Monkeys Climbing are creating a brand new indoor climbing centre in Fort William.


Once completed, the renovated church will host a bouldering wall and roped climbing wall. To complement the climbing experience they will also have a Café, Yoga Classes, Climbing Shop, Sports Massage and much more.


The Outdoor Capital of the UK Formed in 2003, The Outdoor Capital of the UK is a community-focused not for profit membership company with a volunteer board of directors and a salaried staff of three. Through a range of collaborative marketing intiatives and activities the organisation promotes Fort William and Lochaber as the best place in the UK for everyone to experience the outdoors; with a view to developing local jobs and wealth and encouraging sustainable economic growth.


The organisation currently has over 110 member businesses which range from accommodation, food and drink and activity providers to non-tourism focused businesses which support the aims of the Outdoor Capital and acknowledge that tourism is crucial to the local economy. Many of these businesses are SMEs and by pulling resources and working as a team the Outdoor Capital achieves the positive results that individually the members couldn’t otherwise reach.


Visitors interested in the outdoors are increasingly important to economy and community of Lochaber. There are over 65 different activities to choose from in an amazing landscape that encompasses the small isles to Ben Nevis with white water rivers, sea, lochs, beaches, forest, glens, cliffs and mountains in between.


The Highland Mountain Culture Association Limited, is a not for profit organisation, whose aim is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the world’s mountain places and people, by creating opportunities for people of all ages to share their mountain experiences, ideas and visions. To showcase these ideals, it stages annually a programme of events within the Lochaber area, called The Fort William Mountain Festival.

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