Final Ascent: The Legend of Hamish MacInnes to tour cinemas in May

UK film distributor, Cosmic Cat has secured rights to Robbie Fraser’s cinema documentary Final Ascent: The Legend of Hamish MacInnes, about the life of the iconic Scottish mountaineer, inventor of the all metal ice axe, author of the International Mountain Rescue Handbook, expedition leader, filmmaker and photographer.

Released in cinemas on 10 May, the film is Fraser’s fifth feature film and the first to be screened in UK cinemas since his acclaimed biopic, Hamish, the story of Scottish cultural icon Hamish Henderson.

Tickets sold out almost instantly for the UK premiere of Final Ascent at Glasgow Film Festival March 2019, where the director was joined on the red carpet by MacInnes and long-time mountaineering partner and close friend, Michael Palin, who appears in the film to help tell the story of the legendary mountaineer.

Michael Palin, Robbie Fraser and Hamish Macinnes smile together on set


Cosmic Cat will release the film in select theatres across the UK, starting with a preview screening at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (SMHAFF) on May 6, and a special Q&A preview with Michael Palin at the ICA in London on 7 May. The film will tour Scotland as part of the SMHAFF programme with several Q&A screenings taking place up and down the country.

Using a mixture of film and still images from Hamish MacInnes’ own incredible archive and expertly filmed sequences by renowned mountaineering cinematographer, Keith Partridge, Final Ascent sees Hamish piece his life back together by looking at images of his past after he suffered complete memory loss at the age of 84.

Speaking ahead of the theatrical release, director Robbie Fraser said,

"The struggle many people have with mental health, no matter what age they are, can be like a personal Everest. The remarkable thing about Hamish MacInnes is that he has conquered both the outward challenge of the mountains and the inner struggle to get his mind back after a devastating illness.

"I'm delighted to be showing the film at SMHAFF and to be partnering with them and Cosmic Cat on the release. I hope the film finds a wide audience and that people who are going through difficult times are inspired by Hamish's example, and never give up."

“A magnificent and poignant tribute"

“A magnificent and poignant tribute to one of the most significant mountaineers and innovators of the last few decades.”

The Great Outdoors

The film was produced and directed by Robbie Fraser for Magic B Films (a label of Bees Nees Media Ltd.) and was funded by Screen Scotland and BBC Scotland. The executive producers are Alasdair MacCuish, Ewan Angus, Mark Thomas and Clare Handford.

Final Ascent will be the latest release from Cosmic Cat, whose last release, the BAFTA Scotland Best Feature winner NAE PASARAN! became the most successful Scottish cinema documentary of all time.


See the full screening list for Final Ascent: The Legend of Hamish MacInnes at

Community screenings can be booked at