Mick Tighe

Mick Tighe

A veteran mountain guide and rescue team member has been awarded a top accolade.

Mick Tighe is the winner of this year’s Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.

The organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival announced the honour today.

Mr Tighe joins previous winners such as Hamish MacInnes, Jimmy Marshall and Myrtle Simpson in the mountain hall of fame.

Those who nominated him for the award described him as embodying the spirit of Scottish mountaineering, 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 11 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 almost 30 years, alongside running his own business as a mountain guide, Mr Tighe has served mountain rescue as both a member of the Lochaber 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, he has amassed one of 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.

Mick Tighe was born in Derbyshire and joined the Royal Marines at the age of 17. During his 10 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.

He moved to Glen Roy, north of Fort William when he left the Marines in 1977 and lives there still with his wife Kathy.

The award will be presented to Mr Tighe during the Fort William Mountain Festival which runs in and around Fort William and Lochaber from 17 to 21 February.

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