A few weeks ago, when I asked Doug Scott to come to Chamonix and honour the memory of Georges bettembourg, his mountaineering partner and friend back in the 60's and 70's, it only took him a second to agree with great enthousiasm.
Today, along with Reinold Messner, Doug embodies a mountaineering living legend in the Alps and the great Himalayan mountains. Unlike his Italian friend Reinold, he didn't beat any 8000 m peak record. The performance once converted into feet - 14 peaks over 26 248ft- does not seem quite the same to the British... Doug's playground was yet much larger, as he chose to venture up an endless series of 20 000ft peaks across the mountain ranges of our planet.
Doug's list of mountaineering performances and first ascents is endless: the South face of Mt Everest, the North face of Mt Kangchenyunga, the North face of Mt Nupse, the South face of Shishapangma, the Changabang, Chamlang, the Eiger, the South face of Mount Mc Kinley, the Indian Shivling. With mountaineering conquests spreading from the Alps to the Pyrenees, across Nepal to the Sikhim, from the Hoggar to Jordania, Alaska to Greenland, across the Yosemite, the Rockies, Pakistan and Bhoutan, Doug restlessly ventured up and beyond mountains of the extreme. He is the founder of an avant-gardist mountaineering style, using "fair means" that combined fast and simple techniques to survive the natural elements.
Reaching once physical limits while ascending a peak is what truly leads to a mountaineer's fulfilment and freedom of spirit.
His presence among the Members of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix was very special to us. He contributed to honouring the memory of Georges Bettembourg, a great guide, amazing personality and regreted member of our company.
By Jean-Franck Charlet, Mountain Guide and Instructor, Bettembourg's climbing partner and Member of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix.