In the late 1960s, MacInnes led the Glencoe Mountain Rescue team and together they developed innovative techniques and equipment in order to save lives – often risking their own in the process – whether night or day, and always at a moment’s notice. He was a central figure in the rescue during the 1963 New Year tragedy in the Cuillins on the Isle of Skye, and led groundbreaking rescues on Buichaille Etive Mor, Ben Nevis, Bidean nam Bian and many other legendary Scottish mountains.
At the heart of the stories in Call-out are the unique characters in the team and wider Glencoe community who demonstrate faultless camaraderie, and – by virtue of MacInnes’s engaging storytelling – inject an almost comical slant into these sometimes-grim accounts of misadventure in the mountains.
The dark allure of the frozen Scottish peaks provides a foreboding backdrop against which we learn of Hamish MacInnes’s concern for human life under even the most extreme conditions. Call-out offers an inspiring portrayal of responsible and dedicated mountaineering practice, which is as pertinent today as ever.
In May 1996 three expeditions attempted to climb Mount Everest on the Southeast Ridge route pioneered by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Crowded conditions slowed their progress. Late in the day twenty-three men and women-including expedition leaders Scott Fischer and Rob Hall-were caught in a ferocious blizzard. Disoriented and out of oxygen, climbers struggled to find their way down the mountain as darkness approached. Alone and climbing blind, Anatoli Boukreev brought climbers back from the edge of certain death. This new edition includes a transcript of the Mountain Madness expedition debriefing recorded five days after the tragedy, as well as G. Weston DeWalt's response to Into Thin Air author Jon Krakauer.