The Hard Road to Everest

everestDoug Scott gave a wonderful account of his early life and his interest in mountaineering. Starting with boyhood friends from Nottingham, he showed us his travels to mountain ranges in Europe, Africa and Asia where he and his companions climbed many new peaks and reached places in Afghanistan, Mali and other countries that would be hazardous to visit today.

everestHis adventures included several trips to Baffin Island where the rigors of the climate and bivouacing skills enhanced his preparations for Everest in 1975 where, under the leadership of Chris Bonnington, he helped pioneer a new route up goodsthe mountain. He and his partner, Dougal Haston, reached the summit late in the day and had to spend a night in a snow hole just below the summit on their way down. They ran out of oxygen but survived the 9 hour night without frostbite. This encouraged others to reach the summit without oxygen.

He has climbed in North America, where, among other climbs, he scaled El Capitan in Yosemite.

dougDoug started his talk by explaining the work his charity "Community Action Nepal" which was established to help the poorer communities and porters in Nepal. They built schools and health centres but the 2015 earthquake devasted much of their work. The charity is now concentrating on restoring these facilities using local resources and craftsmen in sustainable projects built with resilience to earth tremors in mind.

booksThe lively evening was split into two parts and the interval offered opportunities to buy the Nepalese goods and also to purchase many of Doug's books and photographs. All of these he oblingingly signed. On show were anumber of framed and signed original prints which Doug auctioned and these raised several thousand pounds for his charity.

presidentThe evening was organised by Brian Massey of Hexham Rotary who made the introductions and the evening closed with brief remarks and warmest thanks to both Doug and the audience by the President of Hexham Rotary, Roy Dallison.