I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
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Monday, 11 December 2017

The Ogre by Doug Scot review Stevie Haston.

The Ogre is a great mountain complex and beautiful, in this book by Doug Scot it's history and location is all treated with meticulous detail, and love. The Ogre's proper name is Bainth Brakk, not that the Ogre cares that much, history and men, women and egos, will not effect these mountains that much, that is probably one of the reasons we all love mountains -they are above us. One of the things Doug does so well in the book is show how small we are in the context of this huge mountain chain.

The cover is some how inadequate to convey the bulk of this gigantic mountain, the contents do it proud.

I liked this book immensely, and it is a timely reminder of how much Doug Scot has done. I was not a great fan of his when with Dougald Macsporan Haston he conquered Everest on supplementary oxygen in 1975, but in Dougs other many many expeditions he always showed a sense of adventure and massive respect for the mountain and more importantly the people surrounding the mountain. This small book is some how perfect in construction, it is in two parts, the history of the mountain and its location, and the second part, the story (I might even say epic story) of the injuries to Doug and to Chris Bonnington and their slow tortuous decent of the mountain.

Climbing books should have maps, stacks and stacks of maps!

If you haven't been to the Karakorum you are missing something special, the biggest glaciers outside the Antarctic, and the most high mountains in the world. The Karakorum is different from the himalaya proper and this comes out well in the book-although the political ramifications which has affected the area has not been gone into. With this book you get a good glimpse of the area and a detailed account of the Ogre in all its bulky glory. The Ogre is a complex mountain more toad like in its immensity than spire, but it is huge and foreboding. This difficult climb which was repeated some 30 years later to the amazement of the younger Huber brother stands as a very good achievement to that group UK climbers all those years ago.

 Doug Scot a great product of his age, countless expeditions and many a good deed.

Doug Scots is known for his climbing, but climbing is just climbing, just as in the book the climbing is secondary to the loyalty of Clive and Mo who literally saved two lives, so it might come as a shock to many that Doug's work in these mountains is really of great importance. As a thank you to the local people Doug set up a charity which brought water to a village and over the years this has saved many lives. Doug with this book is also saying thank you to Clive and Mo. It is great that this story has found a proper place in detail, and is not just a pub tale talked over quickly and then not even known about by the younger generation.

 We often forget the people and take mountains out of their own context, the very word Karakorum means black rocks, they were a barrier to trade and war.

 Clive and Mo, two guys who were very handy and tough, and in the context of this book brought Doug and Chris back from the clutches of an uncaring Ogre.

I can't say more, I have read the book twice, and will read it many times again, I will gaze at the many fine photos and dream. To talk more of its contents is to rob you of some of the joy. It is great that the book is in two such interesting but different parts, history and actuality. Mr Scot promises to do a few more books like this, one can only hope that they come up to this fantastic standard. Apparently the book was done very quickly, so much credit no doubt goes to other people-I personally thank everybody concerned. You can read this book and be happy, and there is a very big lesson within its pages which should not be forgotten. What is the lesson? Choose your rope mates with care!