DOUG SCOTT'S historic ascent (with Dougal Haston) of the South-West Face of Everest in 1975 brought him to the forefront of Himalayan climbing at a moment of transition. Their success was achieved from the basis of one of the last old-style expeditions to attempt a major new climb, but the evolution that followed totally transformed the way climbers tackled the greatest peaks.
During their descent Scott and Haston were forced to make a hazardous bivouac in a snow hole .,t the extreme height of 8750 metres. Normally this would have killed or crippled them but by drawing on all their experience they survived it unscathed. It was thus clear that with a bolder approach based on better techniques, and also by taking advantage of improved equipment, the menace of high altitude could be handled. Thereafter an elite international group, of which Scott was a leading member, began tackling the highest peaks in the rapid style used in the Alps. Scott soon completed.a string of major climbs on Shishapangma, Shivling, Nuptse and notablyon Kangchenjunga, where his ascent of the North Ridge (with Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker) ranks among the great Himalayan climbs.
These successes could not have been achieved without a deep inner confidence and an instinct developed through years of experience in climbing throughout the world. He has visited the ranges of the Sahara and East Africa, Iceland, the great peaks of Canada, Alaska and the Soviet Union, in the process making important first ascents on Denali, Pik Lenin and Mount Kenya. He has also maintained a continuing interest in big-wall climbing in Yosemite, the Rockies, the Dolomites and Baffin Island.
But it is the Greater Himalayan range that has remained the central theme of his climbing and over twenty-six visits he has climbed in its most fabled regions including the Hindu Kush, Tibet, the Karakoram, Ladakh and Bhutan. It is in this serene mountain remoteness, amongst people with a lifestyle so different from our own, that Scott finds the ideal atmosphere in which to savour and understand the aftermath of a big climb: being allowed to see that which is normally hidden by the complexities of modern life.
Scott is a skilled photographer and this pictorial record of a remarkable climbing career has been keenly awaited. In his own words "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".
Format: 23,5 cm x 31 cm
Illustrations: splendid book with hundreds of colour photographs.