Doug Scott was born in Nottingham England in 1941 to
a world embroiled in war. Within 4 years the war in
Europe would be over and within 12 young Doug Scott
would discover a joy in climbing. Another 20 years
would find Scott standing at the summit of Everest
as part of the British Expedition of 1975.
When Scott and his ropemate Scotsman Dougal Haston woke in the
early morning darkness of September 24, 1975 they knew a brutal climb and
possibly an even more dangerous night lay ahead of them. There were facing a
monumental task in just ascending Everest, that they would be climbing by the
Southwest Face, a new and difficult route added an element of the unknown. In
the world above 8,000 meters what you don’t know can definitely hurt, and even
They began their climb at 3:30am with sunrise still hours away.
Nearly twelve hours later, after fighting a balky oxygen unit, and waist deep
powdery snow they reached the South Summit. Though it was already late in the
day for an assault on the summit the route to the Hillary Step and the peak
itself lay stretched out before them. After some deliberation and testing of
the route’s conditions they set off for the final ascent.
At 6pm the two men stepped side-by-side onto the summit
completing their trek up the unclimbed South West Face. The question soon
became how to get down off the mountain alive and live to tell of their
ascent. With night fast approaching the men trekked toward the South Summit.
It was full on moonless night by the time they reached their goal and decided
it was simply too dangerous to continue down in darkness.
There was no choice but to bivouac at 28,750 feet – the highest
bivouac ever, and wait for morning. Unlike the American expedition of 1963
which bivouacked lower at 28,000 feet, Scott and Haston were able to enlarge a
snow cave they had dug earlier in the day and gain some shelter from the wind
if not the bitter cold.
After a rough night during which both men suffered hallucinations from the
cold, lack of oxygen and fatigue they emerged from the ice cave and stumbled
into camp at 9am. They were cold and suffering from 30 hours without food or
warmth but they were safe and unlike the 1963 expedition, they were not
Following his experiences on Everest Scott went on to marry
Indian climber Sharavati (Sharu) Prabhu and found a charitable trust to fund
community development projects in climbing areas.
Now in his late 50’s Scott continues to climb and work with
both his own trekking company and his charitable foundation in Nepal. In May
of 1995 Scott climbed the
in Indonesia completing his ascent of the
“Seven Summits”, all the
highest peaks on each continent.
Doug Scott was born in 1941, by
the age of 12 this English native was well on his way to becoming one of the
world’s leading high altitude and big wall climbers. Over his career Doug has
made over 45 expeditions to Asia, he has reached the summit of 40 high altitude
peaks there and half of them were first ascents. His climb up Everest in 1975
was no exception. He became the first Briton to summit Everest and him and his
climbing partner Dougal Haston made a first ascent up the Southwest Face.
The pair began their climb at
3:30am on September 24, 1975. They did not reach the summit of Everest until
6pm, as the sun was setting. It was a moonless evening and they were unable to
descend through the darkness. They had to bivouac at 28,750 ft. The highest
bivouac in history. Despite a long, cold night of suffering hallucinations and
lack of oxygen the two men survived and stumbled into camp the following morning
at 9am. Neither man suffered from frostbite.
With the exception of the 1975
Everest expedition all of Doug’s climbs have been accomplished in lightweight
alpine style without the aid of supplemental oxygen. Today Doug is still
climbing 6000-7000m peaks in the Himalayan Mountains and working diligently with
Community Action Nepal, a charity Doug co-founded and is currently filling the
Operations Director role. The charities main goals include primary and
secondary schools, schools for deaf children, creating health posts and clean
water supplies. Doug is also the author of, Himalayan Climber, and Big Wall
Today Doug lectures across the world as a
motivational speaker, to book Doug e-mail