Back to

New Website

Posted by on October 7, 2015

To keep up to date with all my news and events in future please visit my new website or click on the link below.

Upcoming Events

Posted by on June 16, 2015

This autumn/winter I’ll be speaking to the Cairngorm Club in Aberdeen and the Saltire Society in Edinburgh. These are member only events but if you would like me to talk to your club or organisation please get in touch.

What audiences say about my talk and slideshow about Caleb’s List:

“excellent in every way”

“hugely appreciated” 

“we thoroughly enjoyed your talk” 

“intrigued by the novelty of the subject”

 “so interesting”

The Scottish Mountaineer reviews the paperback edition of Caleb’s List

Posted by on March 5, 2015

“This is a delightful book, receiving a welcome publication in paperback.

It’s hard to say in a nutshell what Caleb’s List is. On the surface it’s a guide to climbing 20 Scottish mountains visible from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. (A much more attractive list of hills than you might imagine.)

But it’s also the story of a Victorian mountaineer, geographer and antiquarian, and the tale the author’s personal struggle with HIV. As well as a compendium of all sorts of interesting facts and history about the hills being climbed.

When this book was first published in 2013 it was shortlisted for the Saltire Society’s Scottish First Book Award, and once you start turning the pages it’s not hard to see why.

This isn’t the sort of guide book you pick up to get the bare bones of your route for the day; this is the sort of book you settle down with for a good read, or dip into from time to time to check a detail and stay for a whole chapter, full of surprises and interest, asides and insights.

The hills covered – MacInnes dubs them The Arthurs – range from Ben Lomond in the west to Lochnagar in the east, with the most distant being Beinn Dearg by Glen Tilt and the closest being East Lomond in Fife. Others include Stob Binnein, Ben More, Ben Vorlich, Ben Lawers and Schiehallion.

This book certainly provides more than adequate details and directions to get you up the hill and down again, but it offers a rambling and far more enjoyable journey than a bare list of directions and distances would offer. I could be picky and say that the reproduction of the maps is quite poor but, to me, that’s a trifling point: you’ll be taking a map anyway, and the picture painted by the words is far richer than the one you’d gain from clearer contours.”

Neil Reid, Editor

The Scottish Mountaineer is a magazine published on behalf of  the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, the sport’s representative body.

Meet the Author at Morningside Library

Posted by on November 12, 2014

All welcome to come along to my talk and digital slideshow about the life and times of Victorian mountaineer Caleb George Cash and what led me to take on the challenge of climbing the hills on Caleb’s list.

Venue:  Morningside Library, 184 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4PU

Wednesday 3rd December 2014 at 6.30pm

Free event


What audiences say about my talk and slideshow about Caleb’s List:

“excellent in every way”


“we thoroughly enjoyed your talk” 

” intrigued by the novelty of the subject”

 “so interesting”

P.S. Christmas is coming…. a great chance to get a signed copy of Caleb’s List.

Stockfest 2014

Posted by on September 22, 2014

So far this month I’ve had a great trip to Dundee to talk to the Grampian Mountaineering Club at Discovery Point and a very friendly evening at Penfest, Penicuik’s Arts Festival.

Discovery Point, Dundee

Discovery Point, Dundee

Please come along to Stockbridge Library, Hamilton Place , Edinburgh this Saturday where I’ll be talking about the Victorian mountaineer Caleb George Cash and his list of Scottish mountains visible from Arthur’s Seat as part of Stockfest 2014.

Saturday 27th September


Stockbridge Library, 11 Hamilton Place, Edinburgh.

Free event


Come and hear me talk about Caleb’s List

Posted by on July 29, 2014

Some events coming up this autumn:

Thursday 4th September 2014:  Kellan MacInnes will be talking about  Victorian mountaineer Caleb George Cash to Grampian Hillwalking Club and signing copies of Caleb’s List at Discovery Point, Dundee.

Evening event : details will be posted here.

Thursday 11th September 2014  at 7.30pm: Kellan will be appearing at the Midfest 2014  at Penicuik Community Arts Association, 4 West Street, Penicuik, Midlothian, EH26 9DL.

Saturday 27th September 2014 at 1.30pm: Kellan will be giving a talk about Victorian mountaineer Caleb George Cash and the Scottish mountains visible from Arthur’s Seat at Stockbridge Library, 11 Hamilton Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5BA  as part of Stockfest 2014.

Afternoon event : details will be posted here.

Wednesday 5th November: Kellan will be giving a talk about Victorian mountaineer Caleb George Cash and the Scottish mountains visible from Arthur’s Seat to the Colinton Literary Society in Edinburgh.

Evening event : details will be posted here.

My Journey to Yes

Posted by on June 10, 2014

With less than 100 days to go to the independence referendum I thought it was time to put into words why I’ve decided to vote YES on September 18th:

My life changed for ever one Monday morning at the beginning of March when I was diagnosed with AIDS related cancer at the age of 33. It was the end of the 1990s. Tony Blair had just become prime minister, Scotland was preparing for a referendum on devolution and Princess Diana was on holiday in the Greek islands.

It was about eighteen months after the ‘protease moment’ when doctors treating AIDS patients in America discovered that giving HIV positive people three different drugs, all at the same time – combination therapy – reduced the amount of HIV virus in their blood to almost undetectable levels. After a few months on a combination of drugs (one class of which were called protease inhibitors) patients CD4 cells recovered to near normal levels. Over time their immune systems were restored, allowing people with HIV to live a normal, healthy lifespan.

At the time of my diagnosis on that bleak Monday morning, I had a viral load (the amount of HIV present in my blood) in the hundreds of thousands. CD4 count is a measure of the relative health of the immune system. In a healthy adult CD4 count is usually in the region 800-1200. Mine was 168.

I was also suffering from Kaposi’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. I was initially treated with the drugs saquinavir, epivir and AZT plus a prophylactic anti-biotic septrin to ward off pneumonia. I subsequently underwent six months of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy to treat the AIDS related cancer.

At one point I was given six months to live. That I survived is due entirely to the NHS; to the consultants in sexual health who treated me with the then ground breaking combination therapy, the oncologists who treated my AIDS related cancer, the nurses, the dietician and the clinical psychologist who helped me come to terms with having to live the rest of my life with a chronic life threatening medical condition.

For the past 17 years I have taken between six and 25 tablets a day just to stay alive. These days I go to the Chalmers Sexual Health Centre in Edinburgh every six months, to have my blood tested to check the virus remains at undetectable levels. At my last appointment two weeks ago my CD4 count was 645. The consultant I saw is the same doctor who, as a registrar, diagnosed me as having HIV/AIDS seventeen years ago. We are fortunate indeed to have a first class National Health Service here in Scotland.

By contrast I look with something approaching despair at what is happening to the NHS south of the border in England. In Surrey since 2012 sexual health services have been provided by Virgin health care (no pun intended), a branch of Richard Branson’s empire. In parts of England the NHS has become little more than a brand, a logo, a cover for a privatised health service.

Last December the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV  and the Royal College of Physicians voiced their concerns about the privatisation of sexual health services in England. The key threats the doctors’ leaders flagged up were decreasing access to clinics and treatment, a reduction in the quality of patient care and the undermining of existing services.

Concerns have also been raised about private companies cherry-picking lucrative areas of sexual health medicine such as automated testing for sexually transmitted diseases as well as along the way acquiring valuable property assets in city centres. Doctors fear all this will be at the expense of services to unprofitable and difficult to treat groups of patients like people with HIV or Hepatitis C.

I owe my life to the National Health Service. I think it is vital it is properly funded and protected from privatisation. Think about it; all of us are only ever a GP appointment and a hospital test away from depending on the NHS.

Devolution will not protect the NHS in Scotland from further cuts – another £25 billion are planned after the 2015 UK general election. I fear the consequences of a No vote on September 18th. I don’t want to see health services cut as part of Westminster’s austerity consensus. I believe a No vote presents a real danger to the NHS. Only in an independent Scotland will the NHS be safe from Westminster’s privatisation agenda.

For me Scottish independence isn’t about flags and borders. Rather it’s about whether Scotland’s oil wealth should be spent on nuclear weapons or hospitals and schools. It’s about the kind of society we want to live in and what its priorities should be. I never want to see the NHS in Scotland reduced to a brand run by private companies for shareholders’ profit and come September 18th that will be the main reason why I’ll be voting Yes.

Seventeen years ago the NHS saved my life and in the independence referendum, I’ll be voting YES to save the NHS.

National Collective

Posted by on May 13, 2014

I’ll be giving a reading from Caleb’s List as part of this month’s Edinburgh meeting of the National Collective.

8pm. Wednesday 21st May Circus Café, St Mary’s Street , Edinburgh.

Free event.

All welcome.

Arran Antiquarians

Posted by on March 22, 2014

Last week I headed west on the train and ferry to Brodick on the Isle of Arran to talk to the Arran Antiquarians about Caleb’s List. Thanks to everyone who came to hear me speak. There was a good turnout of around sixty folk keen to learn more about the life and times of Caleb George Cash, Victorian mountaineer, teacher, geographer, pioneer of nature conservation and antiquarian. Some great views of Goat Fell from the ferry on the way back too!




Central Station, Glasgow

Caleb’s List out in paperback soon

Posted by on March 9, 2014

Exciting news!

Luath Press are going to be publishing Caleb’s List in paperback . Watch this blog for more news…

Meantime there are still a limited number of hardback copies available, so still time to buy one for that hill walking friend, partner, brother, sister, mother you never know what to get as a birthday present!