Born in Derbyshire, in 1950, of Irish ancestry, Mick Tighe worked on a farm until the age of seventeen when he joined the Royal Marines. An eighteen month posting to Singapore and a year’s tour to Northern Ireland was followed by qualification as a Mountain and Arctic Warfare Instructor and a brief spell with the British Biathlon Team. Seven winters in Arctic Norway and an equal amount of summers in mountainous regions throughout the world were a good apprenticeship to becoming a British and International Mountain Guide in 1979, shortly after completing his ten years service in the Royal Marines. Work as an instructor with The Joint Services Mountain Training Centre at Tulloch, near Fort William, filled the years 1979-1982 and whilst a bad car crash nearly ruined his plans, Mick started his own Mountain Guiding business, Nevis Guides, in May 1982, which has run very successfully to date.
As a member of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team for nearly thirty years, Mountain Rescue became a ‘forte’ and Mick was the National Training Officer to all of Scotland’s Mountain Rescue Teams for ten years in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Summer Alpine trips have continued throughout the last thirty years and the Canadian Rockies have also become a speciality. Cross country ski trips to Arctic Norway continue each winter, followed year on year by his enduring passion of exploring the wild and unexplored coast of Scotland’s North West Highlands and Islands, where he has completed several hundred first ascents on the sea cliffs and sea stacks.
It is typical of his charitable nature that whenever anyone wants someone to organise getting a disabled person up and down Ben Nevis, it is invariably Mick who sorts it right down to the helicopter support.
As an inveterate collector, Mick put together over thirty years perhaps the largest collection of mountain artefacts, equipment, literature, photographs and other memorabilia in the U.K. which he has recently donated to a newly formed charity The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection, of which he is a Trustee. The collection is at present being catalogued and photographed prior to having it displayed on a website. Thus a fabulous collection depicting much of the rich history of Scottish mountaineering will be made available to anyone world-wide with an interest in the subject.
”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.”
Mike Pescod – #TeamFWMF