Friday, 8 March 2013


Our friend, and Iain's long-time climbing and hill-walking pal, Donald, died February 7, 2013 aged 84 years.  He was a mountaineer and strong moving force in the movement in Scotland to improve access to the mountains.

He wrote many guide books and sat on many committees over all of his life.   Every real or arm-chair Munro-bagger owns his book The Munros: Scottish Mountaineering Club Hillwalkers' Guide.

His loss marks the end of an era. 

Donald in 1992 at our 25th wedding anniversary held in the Millcroft Hotel in Gairloch, Wester Ross.  (We were married in Gairloch in November 1967.) Here he is singing  "She's Ma Peerie Weerie Winkle" song... or maybe it was "McGinty's Meal and Ale": he knew them all!

Donald took photos of the mountains whether it was in the Pampirs, Himalayas, Greenland or home in Scotland.  His period of mountain photography was the 50s onwards when he was climbing as a young man until he was struck down by a stroke 11 years ago.

In the early days he was developing himself black and white photographs for his publications.  He moved on to colour prints and slides (which we all took in the days of giving slide shows to the mountaineering clubs' evening lectures etc).

Anne recalls the candlewick bedspread on their bed being completely covered with drying photos ... so much so that she was having to call him from his work to clear the lot so she could get ready for bed!

The following are ones are duplicates that were on offer to people attending his funeral a fortnight ago.  I scanned them at high resolution but have posted them here at low resolution. You need them at a high resolution for publishing in a book or newspaper.  These won't do.  [The quotation marks indicate the handwritten text on the back of the photo where it exists.]

Sheneval Bothy - Beinn Dearg Mhor and Beinn Deary Bheag. ("Rowan tree is much bigger now."  stated Phil Gribbon.)

"Northern Highlands: Beinn Eighe from Loch Coulin. DJB"

"Glen Gyle House" [Donald's handwriting]

"Looking north-west from Liathach to Beinn Derarg and Baosbheinn DJB"

"Pitch Two on the Ciobh Nose, Sgùrr a' Chaorachain, Iain MacLeod climbing. D J Bennet"

[Yes ... that is oor Iain 50 years ago!]

"Winter in the Mamores"

"The summit of Trallval, Rhum, looking east to Eigg and the mainland. DJB"

"Ben Venue from Loch Achray"

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