saul-gallagher
3rd December 2015

Review: Doug Scott CBE Everest: The Hard Way

An evening of determination and nostalgia with Doug Scott CBE at the Lowry Theatre
Review: Doug Scott CBE Everest: The Hard Way
Doug Scott on the summit of Everest having made the first ascent of the mountain’s South West Face. Photo: Dougal Haston

Doug Scott is such an understated persona the wider general public would have no appreciation or the remotest idea of what he has achieved in his climbing career. Instead today we now have a “celebrity status” bestowed upon any individual who may catch a few moments of attention upon the big screen. There should be an important preface here: I am a fan.

He stands amongst an elite group of climbers from a truly unique period of time when adventurers were pushing back boundaries on a level that your average Joe couldn’t even begin to imagine. With this in mind the achievements are all the greater given the equipment and funding boundaries of the era.

However, where he truly stands out amongst this elite group is the fact that there must be something particularly special for him to succeed further amongst his original group of climbing peers. What is particularly astounding is the span of time in which he not only climbed, but continuously returned home.

Many of Scott’s peers who successfully pushed the boundaries of climbing didn’t stand the test of time. Very few lacked the capacity which Doug Scott seems to, even now, exude and embody.

Sir Chris Bonnington and Reinhold Messner are other notable individuals who for a time were within the same league of Scott, unfortunately all too many were left in the shadows as their time ran out.

Having recognised the part that the Nepalese people have played throughout time when travellers and adventurers have visited and explored the Himalayan region prompted Scott to dedicate the last 20 years of his life in repayment. To date a total of 44 projects have been conducted through Scott’s Community Action Nepal charity. Sadly however, the earthquake of April 2015 affected most of the projects.

This lecture, on Monday the 16th of November at the Lowry Theatre, celebrated the 40th anniversary of ‘Everest: The Hard Way’, the conquest of the South West face of Everest, which he conquered with Dougal Haston in 1975, bringing to a close the last of the great siege assaults upon the earth’s largest peaks. In doing so, he opened the way for a new breed of rapid, lighter, and faster summit attempts.

All proceeds from this nostalgic and humbling story-telling evening have been delivered to the very heart of the needs of the Nepali people.


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