In 1959, sixteen-year-old Ian ‘Spike’ Sykes left school and, after a short period of work at Leeds University, joined the RAF. Already a keen climber, he signed up on the promise of excitement and adventure and was posted to the remote RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team in the north of Scotland. It was the beginning of a journey which would see him involved in some of the most legendary call-outs in Scottish mountain rescue history, including the 1963 New Year tragedy on the Isle of Skye.
On The Shadow Of Ben Nevis is Ian's story of growing up in Leeds in the aftermath of the Second World War, to his time with the RAF during the cold war.
After leaving the RAF, he remained an active member of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team and was involved in many epic rescues of stricken climbers in the middle of winter. Following a two-and-a-half-year stint on Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey, he returned to the Highlands where he became a key player in the development of the Nevis Range ski area.
Join us for an evening that is guaranteed to be filled with many lively tales of adventures and mishaps, told with immediacy and charm Ian will recount his fascinating life in the Lochaber mountain rescue services during the mid to late twentieth century plus his time at the Nevis Range.