Another great gone – Doug Scott cult hero extreme mountaineer. Yet he was a kind and caring man who did so much for Nepal and its people. population. His love of the country and after so many expeditions to the Himalayas led to his deep connection led to the founding of Community Action Nepal (CAN). This charity is aimed at improving the lives of the Sherpa community living in Nepal. Doug Scott continued to work tirelessly for his charity for over 30 years. During this period he set up 15 schools, 20 health posts and 3 Porter Rescue centres and several Community projects.
This March sadly he was diagnosed with cerebral lymphoma – a type of inoperable brain cancer – and shortly after lockdown he made one last climb up the stairs to raise funds for Community Action Nepal.
One of the first mountaineers to become a media star after his Everest summit that included a bivy from the summit at 8700 metres with no sleeping bag or oxygen, he pushed the then known boundaries. This never changed his attitude, he was a climbers climber.
He is so well thought of by everyone. I think he was most peoples hero with his long hair and John Lennon glasses and headband. He was a huge influence on light weight Alpine Mountaineering in the Himalayas. He and a few others pushed the standard so high as my pal Pete Greening said “Another of my heroes has gone. A man of vision, particularly when it came to climbing and mountaineering. Doug Scott certainly was at the forefront of big wall climbing, alpinism and high altitude mountaineering during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Too many achievements to mention here, but perhaps his best was surviving during a time when high altitude mountaineering was starting to explode on the world stage, as many of his friends didn’t.” His
I met him a few times as he did so many lectures not just to to big venues but to small Highland venues.
I had also met him on the Ben in winter in the early 80’s as we were staying in the CIC hut and he soloed a few routes like the Curtain and Zero gully. He met my dog Teallach at the hut and they got on well with him. He told me he wandered up to Curtain a ice climb where he met my dog. We were on the same route a bit earlier. He past us climbing solo and he came down and Doug and my dog went over to Zero gully with him. We continued up the Ben summit and back to the hut where Teallach and his new mate were already back. Doug had climbed back down checking the dog was okay. He and Teallach wandered back to the hut.
It was the same when doing his talks he was always willing to chat to his audience after a lecture had ended. No matter who you were he was always up for a chat and some advice.
Up and About, this is the first volume of his autobiography, Scott tells his story from his birth in Nottingham during the darkest days of war to the summit of the world. Surviving the unplanned bivouac without oxygen near the summit of Everest widened the range of what and how he would climb in the future. In fact, Scott established more climbs on the high mountains of the world after his ascent of Everest than before. Those climbs will be covered in the second volume of his life and times.
It’s been a sad year for losing great and good folk but like Hamish what a legacy they left. A lot more than the ascent of so many peaks but an example of what you can do and what you can do for others.
His epic on the Ogre with Clive Rowland, Chris Bennington, and the late Mo Antoine is the ultimate survival tale. It’s a must read and shows you an insight into a man who climbed not only many of the Worlds highest peaks but a man with a great humanity.
RIP Doug Scott