Doug Scott’s mountaineering highpoint was the first ascent of Everest by its enormous South West Face – Everest: The Hard Way – but his greatest adventure was undoubtedly his first ascent, accident and then escape from The Ogre.
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 of the world’s high mountains to climb. In 1977 Doug Scott and Chris Bonington made the first ascent after very difficult rock climbing that extended the boundaries of what had been achieved before at that altitude. The subsequent descent, in the dark, immediately became an epic; while abseiling off the summit block Doug slipped on water ice and swung, then smashed into the cliff he had just climbed, 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.
It was 24 years before there was a second ascent of the Ogre.