Doug Scott Recreates Everest Summit in What Might be his Final Climb

Everest Himalaya
Doug Scott takes part in the Everest Challenge 2020 (left), in the same outfit he wore summating Everest in 1975 (right). Photo: The Sunday Times/Richard Rayner

In 1975, climbing legend Doug Scott was part of the first British team to summit Everest, and the first-ever ascent of its notorious southwest face. Now, aged 79, he has once again donned the iconic blue nylon suit that saw him survive a bivouac at 8,749m (28,704ft), and is recreating the climb at home.

Scott and his surviving teammates from the 1975 climb, Sir Chris Bonington, 85, and Paul “Tut” Braithwaite, 74, have launched the Everest Challenge 2020 to raise money for Community Action Nepal, the charity that Scott founded to help those in the remote parts of Nepal. The campaign invites climbers to make multiple ascents of their stairs and eventually cover the equivalent height of 8,848m at home. It also coincides with the 45th anniversary of their landmark expedition.

For Scott, this climb may be his hardest to date. On the first day of the UK lockdown in March, he was diagnosed with cerebral lymphoma –- a type of brain cancer. Since then, he has been confined to the ground floor of his home in the Lake District. The cancer is inoperable, and though his mind is sharp, Scott now struggles to even say a few words. After making to the top of his stairs, ice ax in hand, he described the difficulty of climbing the 12 stairs as “hellish”. With characteristic stubbornness, Scott — who once crawled for days with two broken legs — refuses to admit that this will be his last climb.

Sir Chris Bonington takes part in the Everest Challenge 2020. “My heart goes out to him,” says Doug Scott of his friend and colleague. “He is one of the greatest climbers that Britain has ever had.” Photo: canepal.org.uk

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Rebecca McPhee

Aspiring sports and travel journalist based in the UK.

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3 Comments on "Doug Scott Recreates Everest Summit in What Might be his Final Climb"

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Francisco González
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Desde España un BRAVÍSIMO AMIGOS EN EL CORAZÓN Y EL ALMA!!!

Eric Anderson
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Met Doug in Talkeetna, Alaska in 1976. He and Dougal Haston had just finished their new route on the south face of Denali (then still McKinley). Two guys on our team flew in on the flight they came out on (weather on glacier landing strip had been bad for days). Two of us left behind awaiting next morning flight got to spend evening in the Fairview Inn bar drinking beer with Doug & Dougal. Pretty interesting. Doubt today that back then I’d have thought he would live such a long life. Remember, Dougal died only a year or so later… Read more »
Healdy
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You can join the Everest2020 Challenge and support the work of Community Action Nepal, the charity set up by Doug Scott to help the people of remote mountain communities in Nepal.
https://www.canepal.org.uk/everest2020