Doug Scott’s mountaineering highpoint was the first ascent of Everest by its enormous South West Face – Everest: The Hard Way – but his greatest adventure was undoubtedly his first ascent, accident and then escape from The Ogre. This is an epic tale of hard climbing and survival that has now become part of mountaineering folklore.
The Ogre (7,285 m) is the most difficult of the world’s high mountains to climb. In 1977 Doug Scott and Chris Bonington made the first ascent after very difficult rock climbing that extended the boundaries of what had been achieved before at that altitude. The subsequent descent, in the dark, immediately became an epic; while abseiling off the summit block Doug slipped on water ice and swung, then smashed into the cliff he had just climbed, breaking both legs just above the ankles. A storm blew in lasting five days during which time Chris smashed his ribs and contracted pneumonia. It took eight hard days to reach Base Camp – that was only made possible by the selfless support of Clive Rowland and Mo Anthoine.
It was 24 years before there was a second ascent of The Ogre.
Doug Scott CBE – Biography
Doug Scott has made 45 expeditions to the high mountains of Asia. He has reached the summit of more than 40 Himalayan peaks, of which half were climbed by new routes or for the first time in Alpine style. In 1975 he and Dougal Haston became the first Britons to climb Everest when they made the first ascent of the South West Face on Chris Bonington’s Expedition. All his other climbs have been made in lightweight or Alpine Style, without the use of supplementary oxygen. In 1979 he made the first ascent of Kangchenjunga North Face, the world’s third highest mountain. He has reached the highest peaks on all seven continents – “The Seven Summits”.
He is a past President of the Alpine Club and an Honorary Member of the American Alpine Club. He was made a CBE in 1994, received the Royal Geographical Society Patron’s Gold Medal in 1999 and the Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Doug has long recognised that these achievements crucially relied upon the support of local mountain people, porters and Sherpa. In 1998 he founded the UK registered charity Community Action Nepal [CAN] www.canepal.org.uk which, in the intervening years set up 50 community welfare projects reaching 250,000 people, including supporting 15 schools and 14 rural health posts. CAN has built three porter rescue shelters in conjunction with IPPGUK and PPUK in the Khumbu. Sadly, however, nearly all these projects were badly affected, and in many cases destroyed during the recent Nepalese earthquake. Proceeds from this lecture season will be used in the charity’s reconstruction programme. In Doug’s spare time he enjoys organic gardening, growing vegetables and rock climbing.
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