Dave (Cubby) Cuthbertson

Aged 46, Dave (Cubby) Cuthbertson was born and educated in Edinburgh. The Pentland hills provided early adventures, and the Boys Brigade were influential – “at least in keeping us off the streets” and getting into hill walking more seriously. At the age of 14 he started climbing with a group of like-minded individuals; left school at 17 and opted out of Art College to follow a career in climbing! He started guiding in 1978, initially with Mal Duff, and then more formally with veterans Geoff and Brede Arkless. Cubby made a name for himself very early on in his climbing career, and in 1980 he enjoyed a starring role in a live Glencoe TV spectacular. This debut performance marked the beginning of an involvement within the TV and film industry that has continued to this day.

But it was Geoff who recognised Cubby’s qualities as a potential mountain guide and in the early eighties he encouraged him to start training, which he did, and qualified in 1987 as an international mountain guide. Between seasonal work as a ski mechanic and guiding in the Scottish winter and summer in the Alps, Cubby created space to put up some of his now legendary climbs. Often working in isolation of mainstream developments elsewhere, many of these climbs were visionary and even after the passage of twenty years or more, are rarely climbed, and in a few cases unrepeated – such is their reputation! A ferocious appetite to push his own personal limits had by coincidence earned him a reputation as one of Scotland’s great climbers of recent times.