Glasgow's West End: Ian R. Mitchell: Writer and Mountaineer

Trip to the Banff Mountain Book Festival in Canada - November, 2000

Scotland's Mountains before the Mountaineers

Ha Ling

The fascinating story of Scotland's mountains from 16th - 19th centuries went down very well in Banff.

Ian managed to fit in some time for climbing whilst in Canada - you can see him here on Ha Ling, eight and a half thousand feet high, and first climbed 100 years ago by the Chinese man, whom the mountain is named after. Apparently he climbed the mountain for a bet.

Launch of new book

On the Trail of Queen Victoria

'On the Trail of Queen Victoria in the Highlands' - Thursday, 19th October, 2000 - Glasgow Outdoor Experience, Couper Street, slide show and free wine

Ian R. Mitchell - Writer & Mountaineer

Having made my New Year's resolution to take up hill walking (even bought the boots) I felt primed up to meet Ian Mitchell, West End writer and mountaineer. I knew Ian from a past life when he was my history lecturer at Clydebank College. He remembered me as one of his more able and industrious students but not quite his star pupil. That accolade was claimed by Glasgow's own much loved Dorothy Paul (actress and entertainer).

Ian R. Mitchell

Originally from Aberdeen Ian has lived in Glasgow with his partner Joan Mackenzie (a good friend of mine) since 1973. They have a teenage son Peter Angus and stay in a lovely flat in one Glasgow's finest classical terraces.

Having moved on from his teaching career to become an incredibly prolific and successful writer. He has drawn on his extensive walking and mountaineering experiences to produce an amazing number of books. Combining quantity with quality Ian has achieved a number of awards and his work has generated many rave reviews.

Ian first took to the hills (and mountains) in the 60s when he began walking and climbing in the Cairngorms. He moved on to other countries to discover the outdoors of Norway, the Austrian Alps, Iceland and the Pyrenees and in 1991 he completed the Munros. His extensive knowledge of the outdoors and passion for the Scottish Mountains is matched only by his writing skills: Ian's first book (co-author Dave Brown) 'Mountain Days and Bothy Nights' has become a classic of the genre and has sold more than 13,000 copies.

Painting of Mountains

In 1991, when 'A View from the Ridge' won the Boardman-Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, Ian's reputation as a mountaineering writer was truly established:

"if you buy any one mountain book this year make sure it this one" Kevin Borman (High, 1991).

Yet another award was gained in 1998 for 'Scotland's Mountains Before the Mountaineers' (a pre-history of Scottish Mountaineering) which won the Outdoor Writers' Guild Award for Excellence. Ian's other books include:

Drawing of Mountains

Ian's talent and knowledge have been widely recognised and he is a regular contributor to a variety of newspapers, magazines and radio programmes. His energy and enthusiasm for his work are impressive and belied by his laid back approach and dry sense of humour. His creativity appears to know no bounds - two new books will be published in 2000 'On the Trail of Queen Victoria' and 'By this Right' -a novel about the life of Ewan Macphee the bandit (this one sounds intriguing - is there a film opportunity here?)

I found it fascinating listening to Ian talking about the book he is currently working on which deals with the history of walking in Scotland from The Roman Legions to the present day. I'll be looking forward to seeing the finished article. At present Ian is still researching the subject so if anyone has interesting and relevant information why not get in touch (email me at ).

Mountains and Rainbow painting

Promoting Scotlands Culture and History

Ian harnesses his energy and passion to promote hillwalking, mountaineering and Scotland's culture and history through a number of avenue. You may spot him working with the National Trust for Scotland, promoting Cultural Tourism of Loch Lomond and offering imaginative evenings of "Slide, Story and Song" at Mountain Festivals. He leaves you with that feeling that there are quite a few mountains he still intends to climb.

Ian can be contacted for information regarding lectures, broadcasts and commissions for articles at: 66 St Vincent Crescent, Glasgow G3 8NQ (Tel: 0141 221 7908)

Also on this Web site you can find some articles Ian has written

Signed copies of his works are available, post free from the author or you can order them from ( All the book titles above are linked into Amazon).