'The photos are of the climbs that have captured my imagination, have taken me out of myself, gripped with fear, shattered with exhaustion, or filled with wonder just to be there. If they stimulate and motivate others to take a step into the unknown, then this book will have been of some value.'
Doug Scott's historic ascent (with Dougal Haston) of the South-West Face of Everest in 1975 sparked a revolution in mountaineering, opening the way for climbers everywhere to adopt the rapid alpine style of ascent as they tackled the world's highest peaks. As part of an elite international group of climbers, Scott soon completed a string of major climbs on Shishapangma, Shivling, Nuptse, and notably on Kangchenjunga, where his ascent of the north ridge (with Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker) ranks among the greatest of the Himalayan climbs.
Himalayan Climber is a stunning pictorial record of Scott's remarkable climbing career, covering 26 visits to the most fabled regions of the Greater Himalayan range, including the Hindu Kush, Tibet, the Karakoram, Ladakh, and Bhutan. Illustrated with over 400 dramatic colour photographs, Scott also narrates his adventures in other parts of the world: rock climbing in Derbyshire at the age of 11, bivouacking in freezing temperatures in the Alps and exploring the Atlas mountains as an aspirant climber.
In over 30 years of Climbing, Scott has survived nights without oxygen at over 8,700 metres, a nine-day crawling descent from the Ogre with two broken legs and an avalanche on K2 that swept away his climbing partner. Despite this, he is still passionate and lighthearted in his depiction of a life spent in the mountains.
Born to a working-class family in Nottingham in 1941, Doug Scott began climbing in Derbyshire, soon progressing to the cliffs of Snowdonia. He became a climbing instructor and completed his first Alpine season at the age of seventeen. In 1965, aged twenty-four, he went on his first expedition to the Tibesti Mountains. It was to be the start of a love affair with the world's high mountains. On 24 September 1975, he and his climbing partner Dougal Haston became the first Britons to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and they returned home national heroes. In total, Scott has made forty-five expeditions to the high mountains of Asia, reaching the summits of forty peaks. With the exception of his ascent of the south-west face of Everest with Haston during Chris Bonington's 1975 expedition, he has made all his climbs in lightweight or alpine style, without the use of artificial oxygen. He has reached the highest peaks on all seven continents - 'the seven summits'. Scott was made a CBE in 1994 and he is a former president of the Alpine Club. In 1999 he received the Royal Geographical Society Patron's Gold Medal, and in 2011 he was awarded the Piolets d'Or Lifetime Achievement award, during the presentation of which his mountaineering style was described as 'visionary'. In 1975 he founded Community Action Nepal (CAN), a UK-based charity whose aim is to support the mountain people of Nepal. Scott continues to climb, write and lecture, avidly supporting the work of CAN.
'One of the finest picture books on mountaineering I have ever seen. The photos are ravishing, full of life and colour and action.' (Steve Roper, American Alpine Journal). 'The odyssey of a man who has made mountains a way of life.' (Lord Hunt, The Alpine Journal). 'Original and inspiring - how many could amass a portfolio of such consistently interesting, entertaining and illuminating photographs, most of them action pictures taken in difficult circumstances.' (Stephen Venables, High Magazine).