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

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: