Our directory of things of interest


  • Written by  Jules Stewart
  • Published in Books
06 Mar
by Doug Scott  •  Vertebrate Publishing  •  £20 (hardback)

The 7,300-metre Karakoram peak known as the Ogre well merits its forbidding name. In his lavishly illustrated book (which would have benefitted from an index), legendary mountaineer Doug Scott was aware this could turn into a unique adventure for him and his teammates when he writes: ‘Chris (Bonington) knew that this would be quite a different sort of expedition to the last three he had previously led.’ Yet in 1977, when they set off for Pakistan, they hoped to climb the Ogre ‘with as little fuss and bother’ as had been the case in expeditions in Europe, North America or the Andes. Theirs was to become the first successful ascent, following two failed attempts in 1971 and 1976.

Scott was no stranger to high altitude climbing, having summitted Everest two years previously. But, as he points out, this had been on relatively ‘easy’, non-technical snow slopes. The drama begins to unfold at 7,000 metres, with Scott, Bonington and two companions tucked snugly in their sleeping bags, prior to tackling a wall of steep, mixed ground before the final summit. It was, according to the author, the hardest climbing he had done at that altitude.

‘The climbing would become a race against physical and mental deterioration in the rarefied air,’ Scott says. Little did he suspect it would turn into a battle for survival. After reaching the summit, as is so often the case, the descent took Scott and Bonington to near disaster. In the gathering darkness, Scott unwittingly placed his foot on a veneer of water ice and found himself swinging wildly from the wall. The result was two broken legs, while Bonington suffered several fractured ribs in a fall. By day two, Scott found himself crawling down the mountain on all fours, with days of suffering still ahead before they reached the safety of base camp. The story of that epic climb, prefaced by a well-researched section on the region’s history, makes this one of the most readable books on mountaineering to emerge in years.

Click here to purchase The Ogre by Doug Scott on Amazon

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe Today

Adventure Canada


Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Winchester




Travel the Unknown


Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • National Clean Air Day
    For National Clean Air Day, Geographical brings together stories about air pollution and the kind of solutions needed to tackle it ...
    The Air That We Breathe
    Cities the world over are struggling to improve air quality as scandals surrounding diesel car emissions come to light and the huge health costs of po...
    Diabetes: The World at Risk
    Diabetes is often thought of as a ‘western’ problem, one linked to the developed world’s overindulgence in fatty foods and chronic lack of physi...
    The Nuclear Power Struggle
    The UK appears to be embracing nuclear, a huge U-turn on government policy from just two years ago. Yet this seems to be going against the grain globa...
    Mexico City: boom town
    Twenty years ago, Mexico City was considered the ultimate urban disaster. But, recent political and economic reforms have transformed it into a hub of...


NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...


by Kristy Leissle • Polity Press • £14.99 (paperback)


by Christopher Somerville  •  Black Swan Publishing  •  £9.99 (paperback)


by Doug Scott  •  Vertebrate Publishing  •  £20 (hardback)


by Ursula Martin  •  Honno Press  •  £12.99 (paperback)


by Navid Kermani  •  Polity Books  •  £17.99 (paperback)


by Julian Sayarer • Arcadia Books • £9.99 (hardback)


by Robin Hanbury-Tenison • IB Tauris • £17.99 (hardback)


by Daniel Schwartz •  Thames & Hudson •  £40 (hardback)


by Nigel Hughes • £25 (hardback)


by Caitlin Doughty • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £14.99/£7.99 (hardback/eBook)


directed by Ivo Van Hove •  National Theatre


by Norman Davies • Allen Lane • £30 (hardback)


This intimate east London exhibition provides a multi-sensory exploration into…


by Kiyonori Kanasaka (translated by Nicholas Pertwee) • Renaissance Books…


by Steven Price Brown • Bloomsbury • £16.99 (hardback/eBook)


by Jo Woolf • Sandstone Press • £24.99 (hardback)


An epic journey through the Amazon in a traditional dugout…


by Victor Mallet • Oxford University Press • £20 (hardback/eBook)