LONDON (AP) — Doug Scott, who was part of the first British team to climb Mount Everest in 1975, has died. He was 79.
Scott died from cancer on Monday at his home in the Lake District in northern England.
The Community Action Nepal charity, which he founded to help people in the Himalayas, said in a statement that Scott passed away peacefully at home.
“Doug’s family has asked for privacy at this time, but will be making a full and proper announcement in the coming days,” it said.
Scott was perhaps most famous for being the first to climb, along with his Scottish partner, Dougal Haston, Everest’s southwest face in 1975. The southwest face of the world’s highest mountain is widely regarded as one of the greatest challenges in mountaineering due to its length and exposure to high winds.
At the time, Queen Elizabeth II congratulated the team on a “magnificent achievement.”
Haston died in an avalanche while skiing in Switzerland at the age of 36 in 1977. Scott came close to death that year too, when he broke both legs while abseiling from the peak of The Ogre, a relatively uncharted peak in the Himalayas. He effectively crawled to base camp supported by two teammates, Mo Anthoine and Clive Rowland.
“Without those two I would not have got off the mountain,” Scott later recalled.
Tributes were paid to the intrepid mountaineer. According to adventurer Alastair Humphreys, Scott’s was a life “filled with adventure and purpose.” Mountaineer Kenton Cool added: “Possibly the greatest mountaineer of his generation.”