Douglas Kieth Scott [Photo] Giulio Malfer

Douglas Keith Scott

Posted on: March 1, 2003


Milton, when he went blind, declared that he could now begin the real work of his life. Similarly, with the merciless passage of time reducing my physical strength, I find myself less able to explore the outer world, but better prepared to explore the inner. While I still go on expeditions to Asia for medium-sized peaks of 6500 to 7000 meters and to Europe for rock climbing, I spend more time making sense of my forty-five years in the mountains with indigenous people. I now pass on my observations in conferences, lecture presentations, articles and a three-year presidency of the Alpine Club.

There is a common bond between all humanity, the ultimate survival of which depends upon diversity of community and environment. Wilderness, as has been pointed out, is humanity's front line, and that line must be held. To as great an extent as possible, we should leave no trace in the valleys, at the crags and on the mountainsides. We must not allow men in suits who have only a description of reality to replace prime forest with plantations; we must not allow our crags to become infested with bolts and our mountainsides to become festooned with hotels and pylons and cables.

Six trustees and I help to sustain and strengthen hill communities all over Nepal through our charity, Community Action Nepal. This is done in partnership with local committees on forty projects such as schools, health clinics and the strengthening of women's groups. I have found that, although hill communities are considered primitive, their inhabitants are actually more mature than we are, for they have integrity and leisure time and are both resourceful and compassionate. These characteristics, common to all people whose lives are governed by natural, earth-based processes, are not so apparent in advanced societies. There is, however, a tendency in society to go back and regain what has been lost or hidden. Such tendencies are worth encouraging, and are my current focus.

Doug Scott: curriculum vitae

1953: Black Rocks, Derbyshire, England, first leads.

1965: West Ridge and North Face, Tarso Teiroko (ca. 3000m), Chad, first ascent and new routes.

1966: Cilo Dag mountains, Turkey, new route.

1967: South Face, Koh-i-Bandaka (6837m), Afghanistan, first ascent. First ascents of five other peaks in Nuristan between 5334 and 6096 meters.

1971: Salathe Wall, El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, California, first British ascent.

1972: Southwest Face, Mt. Everest (8850m), Nepal, attempt (pre-monsoon). East Pillar, Mount Asgard (2011m), Canada, new route. Southwest Face, Mt. Everest, Nepal, attempt (post-monsoon).

1974: Southeast Spur, Pic Lenin (7189m), Tajikistan, new route. East Ridge, Changabang (6864m), India, first ascent. 1975: Southwest Face, Mt. Everest (8850m), Nepal, new route

1976: South Face, Mt. McKinley (6226m), Alaska, new route. Southwest Buttress, Overlord (ca. 1524m), Baffin Island, Canada, new route. East Face Direct, Mt. Kenya (5199m), Kenya, new route.

1977: West Ridge, Ogre (a.k.a. Baintha Brakk, 7330m), Pakistan, first ascent.

1978: West Ridge, K2 (8611m), Pakistan, attempt. North Ridge, Nuptse (7742m), Nepal, attempt.

1979: North Ridge, Kangchenjunga (8593m), Nepal, new route. North Summit, Kusum Kangguru (6370m), Nepal, new route. North Face, Nuptse (7742m), Nepal, new route.

1980: West Ridge, K2 (8611m), Pakistan, attempt. Southeast Ridge, Makalu (8463m), Nepal, attempt.

1981: East Pillar, Shivling (6543m), India, new route. North Face, Chamlang's Pt. 7010m, Nepal, new route.

1982: Southeast Face, Pungpa Ri (7445m), Tibet, first ascent. Southeast Face, Shishapangma (8046m), Tibet, new route.

1983: South Pillar, Lobsang Spire (5700m), Pakistan, new route. Broad Peak (8047m), Pakistan, ascent. Mt. Baruntse (7143m), Nepal, first ascent. South Pillar, K2 (8611m), Pakistan, attempt.

1984: East and Central summits, Chamlang (7287m), Nepal, traverse (first ascent of both summits). Southeast Ridge, Makalu (8463m), Nepal, attempt (to within 100 meters of summit).

1985: Southwest Ridge, Nanga Parbat (8125m), Pakistan, attempt.

1986: First ascents of rock climbs in Southern India.

1987: First ascents of rock climbs in Wadi Rum, Jordan. East Face, K2 (8611m), Pakistan, attempt. Northeast Ridge, Everest (8850m), Tibet, attempt.

1988: South face, Mount Jitchu Drake (6793m), Bhutan, first ascent.

1990: Indian Arete, Latok III (6949m), Pakistan, new route.

1991: South Ridge, Hanging Glacier Peak South (6294m), Nepal, first ascent.

1992: Original Route, Chimtarga (5482m), Tajikistan, first British ascent. Mount Vinson (4897m), Antarctica, ascent. Mazeno Ridge, Nanga Parbat (8125m), Pakistan, attempt.

1993: North Face, Mt. Pelagic (ca. 1828m), Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina, first ascent. South Face, Mazeno Spire (ca. 5600m) and South Face, Mazeno West Peak (ca. 5700m), Pakistan, ascents.

1995: North Face, Carstensz Pyramid (4884m), Irian Jaya, Indonesia, new route (and completion of the Seven Summits).

1996: North Ridge, Chombu East (5745m), India, first ascent.

1998: Northeast Ridge, Teng Kongma (6215m), Nepal, second ascent. South Pillar, Drohmo Central Summit (6855m), Nepal, first ascent.

1999: Arunachal Pradesh, India, first exploration.

2000: South Ridge, Targo Ri (6572m), Tibet, first ascent.

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