Philip Rankin, one of the founding fathers of Scottish skiing passes away
Philip Rankin, who brought skiing to Glencoe, has passed away aged 99 and 11 months.
We salute all that he did as a pioneer to the sport of skiing in Scotland.
His funeral will be at 13:15 on Thursday 23rd March 2017 at Cardross Crematorium in Dumbarton and afterwards at Ardardan Garden Centre which is not far from the crematorium.
Philip (right) with Scottish mountaineer, Hamish McInnes.
For 2013 Scotsman article on Philip and Glencoe click here
A few words from Myrtle Simpson:
On 15th April, Philip would have been 100. He missed this birthday by a month.
A recent stroke put him in hospital for a while, but he wanted to be at home for the final days. All Glencoe skiers know his house; Just between the Balachulish Bridge and the roundabout.
He was the driving force behind the development of skiing on Meall a Bhuriidh.
A Squadron Leader at the end of the War, this talented man took on our Journal. For the years that he was Editor, every edition was stimulating, witty and influential. The 1952 edition persuaded the SSC to abandon the Ben Lawers area and that the real challenge was to erect a tow in Glencoe rather than Cairngorm.
Philip saw this through and set up the private company, ‘White Corries’.
With his wife Gudrun at his side, Philip became part of the life of club members who spent their week-ends in Glencoe.
Some memories from Alan Forbes:
I have been asked to record a few memories of Philip Rankin as I have been skiing Glencoe for over 50 years.
My first encounter with him was in the early 1970’s,when at the end of a great season
he came out of his ticket office to greet us by asking if we had had a good season. My companion replied naively, yes, 28 days and Philip said he could only recall us buying 5 punch tickets and if we intended to ski in the future we had to buy season tickets!
A few years later the access chair broke down and all the skiers had to climb to the plateau and on the descent a prominent Argyllshire landowner shouted to Philip that it was like the old days and Philip replied that It had discouraged the riff- raff and he thought he might leave it off for a week or two!
The Glasgow section invited Philip to give talk on developing Glencoe at our weekly meeting on the Carrick and a few of us dined with him
at the RSAC club prior to the meeting. He was in his element recalling all the amusing events and stories in his loud commanding voice when we became aware that the members dining around us were listening intently and a few had moved to closer tables. Sadly by the time he gave his talk he pretty well dried up as in his opinion he had already given of his best.
Long after he retired I was passing his house on the way to my cottage I saw him struggling to offload shrubs from his car and I stopped to
help him. He had driven up from Cornwall with a load of species rhododendrons and as I helped him place them for planting I indicated
that they would take at least 10 years to mature. He replied that you planted
for posterity – and that summed up his attitude to life.
He will be sadly missed.