Media Release: Tenth anniversary award for legend of Scottish hill walking, Dr Hamish Brown MBE

Hamish Brown FWMF award Credit Dave MacLeod 4

THE indefatigable Dr Hamish Brown MBE –  Scottish mountaineer, lecturer, photographer, writer, poet and international mountain guide, who embodies Scottish hill walking – joins the Fort William Mountain Festival Hall of Fame as the tenth recipient of The Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.

Nominated by the public and his peers as a mountain hero who celebrates achievement, accomplishment and the spirit of adventure, Hamish joins previous esteemed winners such as Dr Adam Watson, Jimmy Marshall and Ian Sykes (see all nine former recipients below) in the festival award’s tenth anniversary year.

At 82 Hamish Brown, one of the most accomplished British hill walkers of the past 50 years, is best known for his walking exploits in the Scottish Highlands.

He was the first person to walk all the Munros in a single trip and only used the Isle of Mull and Isle of Skye ferries and a bicycle as transport.

Hamish’s Mountain Walk (1978), his now legendary account of this epic 112 day journey in 1974, featuring 289 peaks and covering 1,639 miles, remains one of the best books on the Munros, oozing love of the landscape and curiosity about people.

The book not only made him a household name among the walking fraternity it has been the inspiration for generations of hillwalkers.

Hamish was also the first person to rack up seven rounds of the Munros so his outdoors reputation has never been in doubt.

Mile Pescod, chair of The Highland Mountain Culture Association Limited, organisers of The Fort William Mountain Festival, said: “Hamish embodies the passion and the excitement that exploring the wild Scottish landscape entails, and the great desire to share this sense of adventurous wonder with others.

“Not only has Hamish explored Scotland and many other mountain areas right across the globe but he has helped countless others do the same and find the same sense of satisfaction. Hamish is a true exponent of mountain culture.”

Over several decades, Brown has written beautifully and insightfully of his love for the hills, writing or editing over 30 books and numerous articles for newspapers, guide books and outdoor magazines.

He followed his 1974 Munros walk with the longest trip over the English, Irish and Welsh peaks, told in another best seller, Hamish’s Groats End Walk.

Some of his more distant treks to Corsica, Norway, the Andes, Atlas and Himalayas were covered in his book, The Great Walking Adventure.

As a successful poet, Hamish Brown has edited two classic poetry books: Poems of the Scottish Hills and the huge Speak to the Hills, besides having volumes of his own poems, including Time Gentlemen; and short stories published.

Born in Colombo in Sri Lanka on 13 August 1934, Hamish Brown lived in Japan for a time and then Singapore, escaping with his family in 1942 as it fell to the Japanese.

He lived in South Africa for two years as a refugee before returning to live in Scotland at the end of World War II.

His family lived in Dollar and Hamish, who was educated at Dollar Academy, spent much of his youth exploring the nearby Ochil Hills. This was what really awakened his interest in the outdoor life.

In 1997, Brown received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letter from the University of St Andrews for his contribution to mountain writing and poetry.

In 2000, he was made an MBE for his educational work and a fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. In May 2007 he was awarded an honorary degree from the Open University as Doctor of the University.

The award will be presented to Hamish Brown during the Fort William Mountain Festival which runs in and around Fort William and Lochaber, the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, from 15 to 19 February 2017.

The third Scottish Youth Ambassador for Mountain Culture will also receive their award at the same time.

To download a hi-res image of Dr Hamish Brown MBE go to: please credit Dave MacLeod

To find out more about the full Fort William Mountain Festival programme for 2017, go to:

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Twitter – / #mountainlegends


Media contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E:

M: +44 (0)7913 951717

If you are keen to attend the Fort William Mountain Festival for a commissioned travel feature or adventure / activity feature please contact Paddy Cuthbert to discuss a funded press trip to The Outdoor Capital of the UK.

Notes to editors:

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, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, Ellis Brigham, Rio Tinto Alcan, Corpach Boat Building Co. Ltd, The Nevis Landscape Partnership, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Nevis Range Mountain Resort, John Muir Trust, Printsmith, Lamont Design, Allround Signs, Abacus Mountain Guides, The Granite House, Bill Scott Architects.

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.

The 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 recipients of The Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture are:

2016 – Mick Tighe

2015 – Robin Campbell

2014 – Andy Nisbet

2013 – Myrtle Simpson

2012 – Dr Adam Watson

2011 – Ian Sykes

2010 – Jimmy Marshall

2009 – Richard Else

2008 – Dr Hamish MacInnes

Previous recipients of The Scottish Youth Ambassador Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture are:

2015 – Zeki Basan

2016 – Natalie Berry

Further information on Dr Hamish Brown MBE

Having spent several months every year in Morocco, a country very close to his heart, Brown is a world authority on the Atlas Mountains and leads treks, climbs, bird-watching groups and driving tours into this exotic wilderness. In 2006, he released the book The Mountains Look On Marrakech, an account of a 90-day end to end trek of the Atlas Mountains.

In 2008, Brown took a break from writing books on walking when he released The Scottish Graveyard Miscellany, a book about the design and art of gravestones throughout Scotland. He has written authoritative guides to the Fife Coast, the Edinburgh/Glasgow Canals and walks in various regions.

He travelled extensively in the Middle East and East Africa during the 1950s when serving in the RAF for his National Service.

Between 1960 and 1972, he was in charge of outdoor activities at Braehead School in Buckhaven, Fife, introducing many of the pupils to walking in the Scottish Highland as well as other outdoor activities. For many years, Brown lived in Kinghorn in Fife and now lives in Burntisland.

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 is an awesome new Indoor Climbing Centre in Fort William. No more nothing to do on a rainy day, no more nothing to do on the dark winter evenings. 3 Wise Monkeys happened because we believe the UK climbing community deserves better – and we’re pushing ourselves all the time to make that happen – want to sign up for the ride? Well, why are you reading this? You should be here climbing!

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 initiatives 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. Lochaber Chamber of Commerce –  Outdoor Capital of the UK –

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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