Thinking of my pals in the USA after the election. Busy day with the “Be Active Life Long” (BALL) Group at Burghead and that night The Epic on the Ogre by Clive Rowlands.

I stayed up most of the night and watched the USA Election, there will be difficult times ahead for my many friends in the USA. I had a great 3 months in the USA Lecturing to Unity college in Maine and the USA SAR Fraternity. I learned a lot about the country and made many good friends and feel for them just now. It will be hard days indeed for the future of this diverse nation.

of diverse and great people who are now in my opinion living in trouble times.

2008 on my lecture tour in the USA a land of diverse and great people who are now in my opinion living in trouble times.

I had promised to do a lecture yesterday in my local village so my golf with the Seniors was cancelled but I was up early as I was the Starter for the morning. I was tired when I went home  about 0930 the night vigil on the USA election was catching up with me. I was away after a cup of tea to have a chat with my local BALL group.

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The small Hall was packed after their exercise class then coffee and biscuits and what a great hour we had. I did my usual and told them a few tales of the past and of my recent trip to Glencoe. There was only one man apart from me so I was in my element the rest were all  ladies from the village. As I left they kindly gave me a donation to the Charity Outfit Moray that I am the patron for. By now I was pretty tired and tried to get a few hours sleep as I was off to Inverness at 1700 to hear a lecture in Inverness from a hero of mine Clive Rowland talking about the Ogre in Pakistan in 1978 when Doug Scott broke both legs whilst descending from the summit and Clive was a big part in the epic descent and what a tale it was.

The Ogre - Doug Scott crawls off - Photo Clive Rowland,

The Ogre – Doug Scott crawls off – Photo Clive Rowland,

The next meeting of the SMC Northern District will take place on WEDNESDAY 9th NOVEMBER in the Palace Hotel, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5NG.

The speaker will be CLIVE ROWLAND whose subject will be the first ascent of THE OGRE.   This notorious 7,285m Karakoram peak has been described as the most difficult high mountain in the world and the story of its first ascent in 1977 is well-known.  On the descent Doug Scott broke both his ankles in an abseiling mishap just below the summit, then Chris Bonington damaged his ribs and contracted pneumonia while a major storm enveloped them.  Clive played a crucial part in getting them safely down the mountain in an 8-day epic which has become part of mountaineering folklore.  It was more than 20 years before the Ogre received a second ascent.

This is an opportunity to see the dramatic original slides and to hear Clive’s description of this incredible story – don’t miss it!

It was lots of tales from the past and so many comments

“Doug Scott and I picked our team carefully. Chris Bonington, because he could get as much free Bovril as we’d need. Mo Anthoine because he manufactures ice axes and other useful gear. He also knows everyone at our embassy in Islamabad. Paul (Tut) Braithwaite because he has a gear shop and he’s a painter and decorator by trade, which would be very handy for marking a route up the glacier. Finally Nick Estcourt because he likes Bonington and Bovril.”

I went with two pals and what a night it was I have known Clive for many years he used to own the Climbing shop in Inverness. What a mountaineer and man, he told a great tale of mountaineering in the 70’s and the epic on the Ogre all in a laid back way. It was so enjoyable and many of the local climbers were there and we had a meal before the lecture. It was standing room only and what a tale makes “Touching the Void look normal”

Clive finished with these words

“Around midnight Doug crawled and I staggered into the meadow. It had been a long day, in fact it had been a long week, six days of it without food. Base camp wasn’t there any more. Just a pile of nougat bars and a note giving us up for dead.

It was to be two weeks before we got back out of the hills, but that’s another story.”

The master of understatement, Clive Rowland.

A busy day in more ways than one and it was great that Pete drove me there and back and Inverness was looking superb with the bridge lit up.  What a day!

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Equipment, Family, Friends, Gear, Himalayas/ Everest, History, Lectures, Local area and events to see, Mountaineering, Scottish winter climbing., SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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