THE FIRST British person to climb Mount Everest will relive his experiences in Basingstoke this evening.

Doug Scott was part of the first British ascent of the mountain’s south west face alongside Dougal Haston in 1975, and will appear at the Ark Conference Centre tonight to talk about everything from his childhood during World War II to his famous ascent of Everest.

Proceeds from the event will support the work of Community Action Nepal.

Speaking to the Gazette ahead of the event, Doug said: “The event is a fundraiser for the people of Nepal, people are still suffering from the earthquake.”

The country was rocked by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in April 2015, killing nearly 9,000 people and injuring almost 22,000.

“We’ve raised almost £4 million since the earthquake,” Doug continues. “We’ve taken on the buildings, rural healthcare, hospitals. We operate in fairly remote places.

“I do these lectures to raise money, and so often its about people hearing about it and getting involved. There’s tangible benefits too.”

On the night, Doug will tell tales of his mountaineering career, which saw him climb the highest peaks on all seven continents.

He will also touch on the current problems facing the world’s tallest mountain, overcrowding.

Earlier this year, pictures showed people queuing up in the so-called “death zone” near the summit.

It sparked condemnation of the Nepalese government’s decision to allow anyone who would pay to be able to climb the peak.

“When we were down there, there was only one expedition a season allowed on that side of the mountain,” Doug said, saying that now “everything has changed”. “You get 2,000 people there now at Base Camp. If there’s a good period of weather for about five days, people would set off in one go. What is different about Everest is that these 800 people go at the same time.

“The mountain is a mess, there’s human excrement there, people fighting each other for oxygen. They aren’t climbers, they are high-altitude tourists completely out of their depths.

“It distorts the whole thing of climbing.”

The event gets underway from 7pm at Ark Conference Centre, with tickets available on the door.

To find about more about Community Action Nepal, go to