The Macphail Centre hosts this fascinating talk by Doug Scott CBE.
This is an epic tale of hard climbing and survival that has now become part of mountaineering folklore. The Ogre (7,285 m) is the most difficult high mountain to climb in the world; there is no easy way to the summit. On July 13, 1977, Doug Scott and Chris Bonington reached the summit for the first time after very difficult rock climbing that extended the boundaries of what had been achieved before at that altitude where there is only half the oxygen in the atmosphere than at sea level. Doug’s big wall climbing experience in Norway, Yosemite and Baffin Island were crucial to this achievement.
The descent in the dark immediately became an epic when abseiling off the summit block Doug slipped on water ice and smashed into rocks breaking both legs just above the ankles. A storm blew in lasting five days during which time Chris smashed his ribs and contracted pneumonia. It took eight hard days to reach Base Camp – that was only made possible by the selfless support of Clive Rowland and Mo Anthoine.
After a five day wait for a stretcher party of eight Balti hillmen, Doug was carried into the village of Askoli three days later. Half an hour after arrival a helicopter flew in and out to Skardu where, to add insult to injury, it crash landed well short of the helipad but without further injury to the occupants.