Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

THE OGRE

  • Written by  Jules Stewart
  • Published in Books
THE OGRE
06 Mar
2018
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

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...

Books

by Caroline Crampton • Granta Books • £14.99 (hardback)

Books

by Alastair Humphreys • Harper Collins • £14.99 (hardback)

Books

by Ben Aitken • Icon Books • £12.99 (paperback)

Books

by Edward O Wilson • Allen Lane • £17.99 (paperback)

Books

by David Eimer • Bloomsbury • £20 (hardback)

Films

The uplifting story of a remarkable man who sailed the…

Books

by John Higgs • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £20/£11 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Lewis Dartnell • Bodley Head • £18.99 (hardback)

Books

by Richard Williams • Polity Books • £15.99 (paperback)

Books

by Nicholas Jubber • John Murray Press • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Rob Dunn • Basic Books • £22.99 (hardback)

Books

by Edward Davey • Unbound • £9.99 (paperback)

Exhibitions

From July 2019 to February 2020, the Oxford University Natural…

Books

by Stephen Smith • Polity Books • £15.99 (paperback)

Books

by David Barrie • Hodder & Stoughton • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Juliet Blaxland • Sandstone Press • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Bill McKibben • Wildfire • £20 (hardback)

Exhibitions

A new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery flies forward 100…

Exhibitions

From 12 July through to 10 November, the Fondation Cartier…