Entity Type:
Nisbet, Andy (1959-)
Nisbet, Andy (1959-)
Aberdonian Andy Nisbet was hauling his way up desperately mixed snow and rock routes in the Scottish Highlands long before this strenuously specialised branch of mountaineering practice became popular with the general climbing public. Along with Murray Hamilton and Kenny Spence, Nisbet led the way in pioneering the imaginative use of modern ice-tools on mixed ground in the 80s which led to such huge leaps in standard. However, it is Nisbet who has consistently maintained his enthusiasm and drive over many hard winter seasons. In an unfussy and workmanlike manner, the ginger bearded mixed master effectively cleaned up in the Highlands before anyone else had noticed the potential. Helped by an unsurpassable knowledge of the most esoterically slimy holes in the Highlands, he has specialised in winkling out rare and exotic gems from the frozen muck in the wilder reaches of the Highlands, leaving a legacy which now surpasses even that of the great Tom Patey. His record speaks volumes: he has contributed over 1000 new routes in the past two decades. And of the 600 or so climbs in Scotland currently graded V or over, Nisbet's name features on the first ascent details of a quarter of them. However, in a mark of the true enthusiast, Nisbet is as content to pioneer a new Grade II as VIII, and he appears to show no let up in productivity. In fact, one suspects the Highlands will run out of routes before he runs out of steam.
Further reading: The Mixed Perspective, Andy Nisbet. In: Scotland’s Winter Mountains, Martin Moran. David & Charles, 1987. pp 225-238
Biographical information is kindly supplied by Colin Wells.
2006-08-06 00:00:00
Maxine Willett
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Nisbet, Andy (1959-)