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

Glasgow Cinema City Re-born? - Ian Mitchell, April, 2013
The Measured Mile Of Art / Open Doors To Art ....? - new feature by Ian Mitchell, November, 2012
On The Cowboy Trail- Book Preview May, 2012
from Encounters in the US Mountain West; A Sinner amongst the Latter Day Saints, by Ian R. Mitchell - to be published by NWP Publishing in September 2012
Other features by Ian R. Mitchell.

Ian R. MitchellIan R. Mitchell

Born in Aberdeen, Ian taught History for over twenty years at Clydebank College near Glasgow, and during that time wrote a standard textbook, Bismarck and the Development of Germany. He later gave up teaching to write full-time. A lifelong mountaineer, in 1987 Ian produced (with Dave Brown) the book Mountain Days and Bothy Nights which has become a classic of Scottish and international mountaineering literature, being continuously in print for over a quarter of a century. Described at that time in the Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal as the book for the rucksack this year it has remained so for twenty five years. This was followed by another work with Dave Brown in 1991, A View from the Ridge which won the prestigious Boardman-Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature. Mountain Magazine said the book celebrates a glorious and honourable tradition in Scottish mountaineering (and) left me hoping for more.

From his own pen Ian subsequently produced Scotlands Mountains before the Mountaineers (1998) and On the Trail of Queen Victoria in the Highlands (2001) both of which won the Outdoor Writers Guild Award for Excellence. The former book was described by High Magazine as The most significant book on Scottish mountaineering of the decade, and the Guardian stated that Scotlands Mountains would give you much to think about next time you are up that mountain. Ians work on Queen Victoria meanwhile was praised in The Times as entertaining, well-researched and by a distinguished historian. Though still a keen mountaineer and hillwalker Ian has more recently developed an interest in urban walking and heritage which new development has produced two books about his adoptive Glasgow. The first was This City Now; Glasgow and its Working-Class past (2005) of which the Daily Mail said the warmth and wit of working class Glasgow pervades the books heart and soul, and Clydeside; Red, Orange and Green (2009), which attracted a Scottish Arts Council grant, the second of Ians books to be so distinguished. Of this latter work the Morning Star commented that, Mitchells infectious enthusiasm leaves the reader with the compelling urge to follow in his footsteps. A further book of urban discovery about his native town, Aberdeen beyond the Granite. (2010), was praised in the Aberdeen Press and Journal, as follows, Mitchell has honoured the spirit of fine, hard-working people with a splendid book.

As well as writing books Ian had published widely in newspapers and journals such as History Scotland, Scots Magazine, the Herald and he has appeared on radio and television programmes on travel and the outdoors, such as BBCs Landward, Country File and Country Trax programmes. He has also lectured to organisations such as the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, the Scottish National Trust and to hillwalking clubs and historical associations throughout the UK on the subject of his books. Ian has further been featured at the Dundee and Kendal Mountain Film and Book Festivals as well as at the Banff International Mountain Book and Film Festival in Canada, in addition to giving many talks during his frequent visits to Utah.

Ian has just completed (with George Rodway) a biography of Alexander Kellas, the Aberdonian mountaineer who was the first man to die on Everest, on the Reconnaissance of 1921. As well as gaining Ian a return invitation to speak at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in Canada, in addition to invites to repeat performances at the Dundee Mountain Film Festival (both in November 2011), Ian will be talking about this book, Prelude to Everest, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in September, as well as at the Alpine Club, University College and Royal Geographical Society in London in February 2012.

Ians current project is a travelogue bringing together his Utah experiences, entitled A Sinner among the Saints: Trails in and around Mormon Utah. It is envisaged that this will be published in 2012.

A busy man - hope we'll also see him back at Glasgow's Aye Write Book Festival.

Features by Ian on Glasgow West End Website

Ian's books include:

  • Second Man on the Rope, (1992.) "Chris Bonington crossed with James Kelman" (Scotland on Sunday)
  • The First Munroist, (1993.) A.E.Robertson's life and climbs.
  • Mountain Footfalls, (1996.) "A masterpiece of its kind, or indeed of any kind" (Usual Suspects, BBC Radio)
  • The Mountain Weeps, (1997.) Mountaineering short stories.
  • On the Trail of Queen Victoria in the Highlands (2000) "entertaining and well researched by a distinguished author"(The Times)
  • Walking through Scotland's History(2001)
  • Mountain Outlaw (2003) "A marvellous oddity - a classic" (Scotland on Sunday)

Ian can be contacted for information regarding lectures, broadcasts and commissions for articles:email Ian
Telephone: 00 44(0)141 353 2292
Flat 4, Gleniffer House 21 Woodside Terrace, G3 7XH.

Signed copies of his works are available, post free from the author or you can order them from .


Hi Ian, How do i find out the history of the house you live in. I lived in that house in 1959 when I was 10 years old I lived in it before it was turned into flats it was a beautiful Victorian house. I even had a secret compartment in the fireplace in my bedroom I used to hide my sweets in it, Mum said Victorian ladies would hide there Jewellery in it I have so meny stories about that house I could write a book I took my Grandaughter to see the house as a few months ago I went up the stairs to look in the entrance and was shocked to see how it had been changed. I would love to know the history of the house when it was built and the Victorian people who lived in it, can you help me

Ann Beat | Wed May 07 2014

I was born in Shettleston in 1947 but lived in England from 1959 its only now as I read in my retirement that I am becoming to appreciate my great city. Anyone know of any Shettleston books?

brian murphy | Sat Oct 05 2013 you have any location info for Lochiel Street, Gorbals, Glasgow? I can't find it in the Gorbals, Glasgow, map. Likewise, Mathieson Street, Gorbals, is not mapped. Also, do you know where the Blockhairn/Blochearn steel foundry was located in Glasgow? Thanks! John Edmonton Canada

John Sinclair | Sun Jul 29 2012

That's Ian's page updated including new email address. See above feature.

Pat Byrne | Sun Jul 10 2011

I know this is a repeat but does anyone have the correct email for Ian, as my computer will not let me contact him via the above

Mandie | Fri Apr 22 2011

well done well written and thank you for all your time ian jeffc x

jeff | Fri Feb 26 2010

As an ex Partick man I found the profiling of Partick (God's chosen place) totally fascinating.

david jeffrey | Thu Aug 27 2009

I have been trying to send an e mail to Ian Mitchell, but it will not send. Perhaps I have the wrong e mail for him. Could you let me know? Thanks,from Donegal, Ireland.

Sally Patton | Fri Jul 24 2009

are you aware of any books / prints available on the gorbals of the 60's?

monique | Thu Oct 16 2008


FERMIN | Mon Jan 28 2008

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