School to host talk by mountaineer

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At a special talk at Cranleigh School on Thursday, May 5 - marking the first anniversary of the earthquakes that devastated Nepal - legendary mountaineer Doug Scott will be telling the story of how he and Dougal Haston made the first ascent of the world’s highest mountain by its massive South West Face 40 years ago. Their epic climb would become known in mountaineering history as ‘Everest the Hard Way’.

On the descent their torches failed as they reverse climbed the Hillary Step, wind had blown snow into their steps and they were out of oxygen.

Doug commented: “The main thing was to get out of the wind so we dug a snow cave and sat on our rucksacks for the next nine hours in temperatures around minus 40°C. We managed to survive without sleeping bags, without oxygen, and, as it turned out, without getting frostbite. The net result for me was to really widen the range of where and how I would climb in the future. I knew for sure that from then on I would not be carrying cylinders of oxygen”.

Using a lightweight approach, Doug went on to continue his outstanding mountaineering career – making over 40 first ascents in the Himalaya and Greater Ranges. He also felt a need to set out to help the mountain people of Nepal who had helped him achieve these climbs. He did this by setting up the charity Community Action Nepal. Chris Bonington, CAN’s very active Patron, commented: “Actually, what Doug’s achieved with Community Action Nepal is even more impressive than his climb on Everest. He and his team have set up over forty projects – health posts, schools, porter rescue shelters and other community buildings - in some of the most remote and poorest communities in Nepal. Sadly the recent earthquake has destroyed or badly damaged all of the project buildings.”

Proceeds from the talk at Cranleigh School will go to CAN’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal.. Before the talk and during the interval there will be a sale of Nepalese goods and an auction of signed framed mountain prints. Doug will also be selling and signing copies of his recently launched autobiography ‘Up And About’.