Scott, although still passionately attracted to traditional Scottish winter climbing, is one of the countries more controversial characters, widely talk about due to his dry tooling routes in Scotland and motions towards bolted and redpointed winter routes. Unshakable in drive and motivation he is now one of the worlds best sport-mixed climbers. Himalayan expeditions to technical peaks top off his well rounded climbing pedigree.
Born in 1976 Scott began climbing, aged 15, on the outcrops and excellent granite cliffs on the Isle of Arran from his home in Prestwick, Ayrshire. He now lives in Muthill, Perthshire for maximum accessibility to all Scotland’s best crags and mountains. At 16 Scott put up his first new route ‘Point Break E2 6a’ on the Sea Cliffs at Stranraer and later that year soloed his first E4. Winter provided a new range of exciting opportunities and soon became Scott’s preferred season. He was so psyched, young and unaware of the real dangers of hard winter routes at that time that he narrowly escaped death to complete his first Winter Grade VII (Messiah) at 17.
Winter provided a real desire to explore the bigger peaks of the Alps and Scott, accompanied by an equally deranged individual, headed out for an attempt on the Eiger North wall. Not until they were under its huge walls were they put off by the prospect as a first Alpine extravaganza and opted for the North face of the Monch, itself providing some tenuous moments.
Experience born from some exciting epics in Slovakian Tatra’s, the Alps, more Scottish summers and winter forays provided an excellent base for a hard ascent on a Himalayan peak. Graham Little invited Scott to join him and Jim Lowther to attempt the 1900m North face of Kulu Eiger in Himachal Pradesh, India. With over 30 technical pitches up to Scottish Grade V and summer E1 5b, the first ascent of this line and peak at 19 ensured the start of a Himalayan career and burning desire that continues to fuel many hours away from home.
In 1998, Scott joined Chris Bonington in Tibet for an attempt on Sepu Kangri, featured heavily on Sky and Channel Four in the Documentary ‘Bonington's Secret Mountain’. With Victor Saunders he made the first ascent of the West Summit at 6840m in appalling conditions. He also visited Greenland with a strong British Team led by Bonington that climbed fourteen first ascents in 2000.
Scott, already a Physical Education teacher then focused on gaining his MIC (Mountaineering Instructors Certificate), which he achieved in less than 1 year and 7 months, a process that normally takes 4 or more years, and since then has been guiding numerous peaks around the world from Nepal to Africa and India. Scott has been instrumental in developing, training and coaching individuals on Winter Performance Climbing courses and is one of the few Instructors who guides on some of Scotland’s Hardest mixed routes (to grade VII). In this capacity he has been involved with George McEwan and Glenmore Lodges Performance Winter Seminars since its conception.
In 2002 Scott and Rick Allen came very close to being killed in a massive rock fall on the North Face of Baruntse in Nepal. This life changing experience refocused his mind away from the big mountains and back to pushing his technical and physical boundaries. Looking abroad for this challenge on the awesome mixed stalactite and roof routes that constitute the worlds hardest mixed, Scott found his niche, ploughing ahead with a great season making the first British repeats of Welcome to the Machine M9 and 009 also M9 and at one time the hardest mixed route in the world. Galvanised by this success his head was set on the BIG routes of Mission Impossible M11 and Musashi M12. He returned in April of 2004 having completed his goal of climbing all the hardest sport mixed routes in the world in a single season.
Scott organised and introduced the first ever British Indoor Dry Tooling Competitions, Speed Ice and Technical Ice Competitions to the country, all now running into their third successful year.
Scott has featured in many television programs like Grampian Televisions series – ‘The Great Outdoors’, climbing Smiths Arête E5 6b at Ballater and also on the excellent Channel Four Documentary ‘Climbing for the Fatherland’, based on an ascent of the Eiger North Face made with Austrian climbing photographer and star Heinz Zak. Recently Scott was asked to argue for the all time classic book ‘The White Spider’ by Heinrich Harrer on the BBC 2 show ‘Battle of the Books’. Scott is also called regularly to comment on mountain issues and has had interviews on BBC Scotland’s Saturday morning ‘Out of Doors’ program.
This season (2004) Scott will have his new DVD ready for show. ‘A Fist Full of Steel’ is a visual explosion and account of his season travelling the world, repeating all the worlds hardest sport-mixed routes.
Scott is no stranger to the lecturing circuit having clocked up over a 100 lectures in the years that he has been climbing, on a wide variety of topics from practical instructional on safety and training to pure entertainment. He has been the main speaker at both the Dundee and Edinburgh Mountain Film Festivals, and been a welcome guest at many club lectures and presentations for sporting bodies.
Scott’s lectures are Multi Media and, depending on price and location, he sometimes adds a live DJ set to his talks. He always has slides to music, the topic and content of which can be discussed and adapted to suit requirements. He primarily uses slide, but can use power point and has a wide variety of films that can be shown along with his talks.
Scott in DJ mode is available for house parties and events separately or as part of a booked lecture. Chilled, Funked up House to Trance and Hard House.