Dougal Haston and fellow adventurer Doug Scott reached the summit of Everest at 6pm on 25 September 1975, becoming the first climbers to ascend the mountain by its south-west face.
It was the latest in a long line of first ascents for the noted Edinburgh-born mountaineer, including a number of new Scottish routes he established early in his career.
In 1966, he was part of the team that first climbed the Nordwand by the most direct route. Four years later, he and Don Whillans became the first to climb the south face of Annapurna. In 1974, Dougal completed the first-ever ascent of Changabang, led by Sir Chris Bonington and Lt Col Balwant Sandhu alongside Martin Boysen, Doug Scott and Chewang Tachei.
The Everest expedition the next year was also led by Bonington. Having summited late, Dougal and Scott were forced to spend the night in a hand-dug cave in the snow before attempting their descent. However, they reached sea level again without further incident.
The following year, Dougal and Scott paired up again to take on the south-west face of Mount McKinlay in Alaska. It was to be his last great climb. Tragically, he was killed aged 36 in 1977, trapped in an avalanche while skiing in Switzerland.
Today, there is a fitting memorial plaque to his legacy on the Currie railway bridge – the place where he made his first climbs.
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