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The legendary mountaineer and explorer Doug Scott CBE gave a gripping talk on Arran earlier this month as part of a special 40-year anniversary tour he is undertaking.
Around 150 people packed into the community theatre in Lamlash to listen to Doug, who is known for one of the most dramatic stories of survival after encountering difficulties in the Karakoram mountains in Asia.
Using photographs and excerpts from his diary, Doug told how in July 1977 he and another icon of mountaineering, Chris Bonington, made the first ascent of BainthaBrakk, (7,285 m) in the Karakoram – descriptively known as The Ogre. Their climb extended the boundaries of what had been achieved before at that altitude. But it was the subsequent descent from the summit in the dark that turned a catalogue of disasters, which would have defeated most people, into an epic journey.
Doug slipped on the abseil below the summit breaking both legs just above the ankles and losing his glasses and ice axe. He and Chris were forced to spend the night on a snow patch, warding off frost bite. Chris then went on to alert their team mates, whilst Doug crawled out on his hands and knees. Storm and starvation followed but they had to carry on regardless before losing all their remaining strength. Chris abseiled off the end of the rope, smashing his ribs and later contracting pneumonia. With the selfless help of Mo Anthoine and Clive Rowland, it took them eight days to reach Base Camp but the adventure did not stop there…
The Lamlash event, which raised more than £2,000, also included a sale of Nepalese goods, cards and posters and an auction of signed framed mountaineering prints, all supporting the post-earthquake reconstruction work of Community Action Nepal. Doug also signed copies of his award-winning autobiography Up and About.
To ensure that the maximum amount of funds went to the charity, Arran Active covered the costs of the venue and accommodation was provided by Sherie and Andrew Walker at Ivybank in Lamlash.
Teas and coffees were provided during the interval by the Arran Mountain Festival committee.
Doug Scott with backer Andrew Walsh in the packed community theatre. 01_B28_scott_01