Kilted Black Watch veteran to tackle volcano for charity

Jock McInnes
Jock McInnes

There are climbers who earn themselves a name for reaching the highest peaks in the world and then there’s Jock McInnes ...

For not only has he conquered the world’s mountains wearing his signature kilt, the Black Watch veteran, who hails from Methil, has raised over £1.5 million for charity as well.

Jock McInnes takes a rare break

Jock McInnes takes a rare break

What’s more he always carries with him a sentimental and unique Saltire flag, carrying a list of special names.

Jock (61) said: “When a former member of the regiment is taken from us, be it in combat or natural causes, lads or lassies, their name is added on to the flag, and is taken with me on all off my charity challenges around the world,

“The flag is quite unique - no-one else has a flag like mine.

“On a climb, when I struggle for breath, I take it out and look at it.”

The former Kirkland High pupil served the 1st Battalion Black Watch for 22 years and as a sergeant specialised in outdoor pursuits.

He has since tackled the likes of Kilimanjaro and Toubkle, the highest mountain in Europe, as well as crossing the Sahara and Gobi deserts for good causes.

He has taken aid to school kids in Nepal, accompanied Dundee FC supporters to summit a mountain in Marocoo; all in all a formidable feat of endurance which saw him awarded an MBE for services to charity in 2014.

Next, he’ll be taking on Mount Etna in Sicily, flying out on August 26, and the flag will be the first item he’ll be packing.

“Etna’s credentials are impressive,” explained Jock.

“Five live craters and constant eruptions, it’s the most active volcano in Europe, currently standing at 3,329m, (10,922ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions.

“It’s also the highest peak in Italy, south of the Alps.”

During the eight-day challenge he hopes to raise £2000 for the Scottish Fire and Rescue’s Family Support Trust.

One thing’s for sure, he’s certainly brave.

After tackling Borneo in a kilt ten years ago, the patriotic Scot has worn one for every challenge since – and nothing underneath!

“It was very cold when I trekked the Caspian mountains in Russia.

“I had to wear underpants on that one, but not on any of the others,” he laughed.

Cheering him on will be punters at the East Dock Bar in Methil where Jock is still a regular, despite moving to Scone in Perthshire 12 years ago.

Jock is also still a proudly staunch supporter of East Fife FC.

“I’m still Methil at heart,” he said.

Any readers who wish to help Jock’s flag on its travels can donate money through his Virgin Money Giving page. Visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/jockMcinnes%20MBE.