Fascinating evening with legendary mountaineers
By David Wood
Where: Stroud Subscription Rooms
When: Tuesday, November 20, 7.30pm
'Up and About... The Road to Everest' is an absorbing evening with legendary mountaineers Doug Scott CBE and Paul 'Tut' Braithwaite at the Stroud Subscription Rooms.
The pair give a fascinating and often humorous insight into how their colourful careers developed from early youth - including temporary careers teaching geography (Doug) and painting and decorating (Paul) and led them to join Chris Bonington's expedition in 1975.
Doug Scott and Dougal Haston were first to climb Everest by its massive south-west face but were also the first Britons to stand on the summit.
As darkness fell on the descent they scraped a small cave in the snow 100 metres below the summit and survived the highest bivouac ever - without bottled oxygen, sleeping bags and, as it turned out, frostbite.
They returned home national heroes and fulfilled a fortune-teller's prophecy given to Doug's mother: that her eldest son would be in danger in a high place with the whole world watching.
Paul Braithwaite and Nick Estcourt helped pave the way to the summit for those who followed when, using their brilliant rock climbing skills, they found a route through the almost vertical Rock Band in the 'death zone' at 8,200m, and set up fixed ropes.
Their heroic effort also meant they had sacrificed the chance to make their own summit bid when Mick Burke - who was filming the climb for the BBC - tragically failed to return and the expedition was called off.
Doug went on to become one of Britain's greatest ever mountaineers, pioneering new climbs in the remotest corners of the globe. His career spans the golden age of British climbing from the 1960s boom in outdoor adventure, to the new wave of lightweight Alpinism throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Paul, one of the great Alpinists of his generation, went on to become a businessman and company director. Like Doug he became a president of The Alpine Club.
The event at the Subs Rooms will include a sale of Nepalese goods and cards and will be followed by an auction of signed framed mountaineering prints, all supporting the post-earthquake reconstruction work of Community Action Nepal, a UK-based registered charity founded by Doug in 1995, which aims to help mountaineers support the mountain people of Nepal.
Doug will also be signing posters and copies of award-winning Up And About, volume 1 of his autobiography, and 'The Ogre- Biography of a mountain and the dramatic story of the first ascent'.
Tickets for the evening cost £16.50 (£14.50 concessions) and are available from the Subscription Rooms box office on 01453 760900 or website at http://www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk/whats-on/up-and-about-the-road-to-everest/.
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