Mountain rescuer ‘Heavy’ Whalley honoured

THE Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture has been presented to David “Heavy” Whalley.

Heavy has spent more than 40 years rescuing people from Scotland’s mountains and teaching hillwalkers about safety.

He was part of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) mountain rescue service for 37 years, and spent a further three years with the Torridon and Kinlochewe mountain rescue team.

Heavy was initially rejected from the RAF’s mountain rescue team because – at seven stone and five foot four inches – he was deemed to be “too skinny”.

During his career, Heavy was the senior team leader at Lockerbie in December 1988, when 270 people were killed in a terrorist attack.

He was also involved in the hunt for survivors when a Chinook helicopter crashed on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994, killing four RAF crew members and 25 terrorism experts.

Heavy received his award during The Fort William Mountain Festival.

“To be put forward for this award and named in the same group as the past winners of the Fort William Mountain Festival is so humbling,” he said.

“It is a great honour, thank you.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s outdoors pages.

Plus, don’t miss stunning landscape photographs in the March issue of Scottish Field magazine.