Following a near fatal mountain accident, 44 year old survivor, Michael Tunney is back to peak fitness after almost three years of operations and physiotherapy.  In three weeks time (19th June) he faces the challenge of a lifetime to thank those who saved his life: Oban and Arrochar Mountain Rescue Teams and the Northern Police Treatment Centre in Auchterarder by raising £30,000 – equating to a pound a foot of his 30,000ft ascent.

He aims to complete the route known as the Scottish 4,000ers which covers the nine 4,000 ft mountains in Scotland. However Michael’s route will be a 3 stage – 103 mile trek adding 14 Munros which happen to be in the way!

From Aviemore to Fort William, he will be on foot or pedal power, wild camping or staying in remote bothies. His total ascent of 30,000ft will exceed the height of Mount Everest or almost twice the height of Kilimanjaro. Originally, Michael wanted to complete the route in 9 consecutive days, however medical advice has caused him to change his plans. He had been experiencing pain and discomfort in his hip and his consultant expressed misgivings about the stress that the 9-day trek would cause. So a compromise was reached and Michael aims to complete the route in 3 stages, finishing in Fort William on Saturday the 11th of July. .



“On a hike on Beinn Achaladair in late 2006, with my eldest son, Michael (jnr) , I slipped on some ice and fell 200 feet. I broke my neck, hip, arm and 7 ribs and was extremely lucky to survive. My son), who was 16 at the time, recovered very well and phoned 999. He took a tumble himself, in his desperation to check on me. Despite breaking bones in his hand and falling unconscious for a few minutes, he stayed alert, kept me focused and guided the Oban and Arrochar Mountain Rescue Teams and also Rescue 177 from HMS Gannet to our location with microclimate support from the Mountain Weather Information Service. We managed to survive six hours on the mountainside in very cold conditions. The sight of the head-torches and the sound of the helicopter told us we were safe. I don’t remember anything after that for at least 6 days. Apparently I had a couple of operations!” Michael explains.

“I had been air lifted with little hope of recovery to the Southern General Spinal Unit and then underwent months of physiotherapy at the Northern Police Treatment Centre in Auchterarder returning to office bound work only five months later. I have only recently returned to full active duty for the British Transport Police in Perth” he added.


“I was inspired to take on this challenge along the way – I was astonished to learn that the Mountain Rescue teams are entirely voluntary. Despite being supported by a Scottish Government annual grant, they still rely heavily on fund-raising and the assistance of St Johns to equip and fund the teams. They receive some grant aid from the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland towards training costs, but otherwise rely on charitable donations and fundraising. The annual running costs are approximately £25,000 per year”

“So the fund-raising begins now! We have had enormous support from an international rang of people and organisations including Everest conqueror Chris Bonnington, so we are confident of reaching our target!” he added.

Donations can be made by going to and clicking on the DONATE NOW logo or by sending cheques to –

Michael Tunney 4,000ers Challenge, British Transport Police, Scottish Area HQ, 90 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0LU – payable to either Oban and Arrochar Mountain Rescue Teams or Northern Police Treatment Centre.

Kit Sponsors so far include: Paramo Rab extreme weather clothing, Montane, Icebreakers, Lyon Equipment, Sprayway, Cascade Designs, Wayfayrers and Vango. If you would like to sponsor Michael with any equipment, please conatct him on the website or michael.tunney11@btinternet.com

Other web links and information supporters include Mountain Weather Information Service, Mountain Bothies Association, The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Grough, Walk Highlands, Live For The Outdoors and HBOS Perth branches.

Our final fund-raising event will be on Friday 31st July 2009 at The Griffen, Bath Streets Glasgow. Tickets are £3 and are available from www.mtunney.wordpress.com or on the night.

Michael also has a fund-raising raffle ongoing. The draw will be made on the 31st of August 2009. 

Michael has also been collecting raffle prizes over the last few months. He has been overwhelemd by the response and finds himself with amazing prizes to offer. From golf at Gleneagles to camping equipment from Highlander, signed CDs from Wolfstone and Blazin’ Fiddles, St Andrew’s merchandise and so much more .
 For further information or interview with Michael, please conatact: Katherine McCudden on 07880 794416 or at kath.mcc@btinternet.com




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