Awards will be given at the upcoming Fort William Mountain Festival to two people separated by generations, yet united in their contributions to mountain culture.
For his lifetime's service to the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC) Robin Campbell will become the eighth recipient of the prestigious Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.
Following his election to the club in 1962 he initially showed promise as an up and coming mountaineer, and was quickly recognised for his intellect and rigour too, serving on the SMC Committee from 1963 to 1966. Subsequently he took on the posts of SMC Journal Editor (1965 to '75), Vice President (1992 to '94) and club President (1994 to '96). In 1999 he also served as Editor and Compiler of The Munroist’s Companion. He has been the SMC’s Honorary Archivist since 1997 and Librarian since 2011, working hard in the background to ensure that the club's wealth of historical records and photographs are preserved for current and future generations.
And speaking of future generations, also recognised at the Festival will be 15 year-old Zeki Basan from Speyside, the first recipient of a new Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture. It's an accolade that aims to encourage an active outdoor lifestyle among the sedentary youth of today.
Its recipient needs to be a role model, excelling on their own merits in their chosen outdoor field, giving back something to their community and having the drive to overcome a measure of adversity.
For Zeki his severe dyslexia has made school a challenge, and yet he has found a passion in nature and bushcraft, learning about plants and their uses and building shelters to support his overnight trips.
He has chosen to share all this by helping to deliver bushcraft workshops, and even addressing a national education conference.
Festival organisers have singled Zeki out for the scientific slant of his passion for conservation and living in nature, a blend of naturalism and bushcraft that he describes as ‘bushology’.
Mike Pescod from The Fort William Mountain Festival said:
'Robin Campbell is a perfect example of the importance of presenting the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture. Robin has made a huge contribution to mountain culture but has never sought recognition or been fully recognised by others for what he has achieved. Receiving this prestigious award will go some way to demonstrate his invaluable contribution made over many years.'
'Zeki Basan is at the start of his lifetime in the outdoors but is already a role model for other young people of what can be achieved both for oneself and for the greater good of our wild places. I hope he will be further inspired by receiving this inaugural award and will continue to inspire others with his passion for the outdoors.'
- The Fort William Mountain Festival takes place Wednesday 18th - Sunday 22nd February. For more on its lineup of films and events see the festival website.