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1975: First Britons conquer Everest
Dougal Haston and Doug Scott have become the first Britons to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain.

The men arrived at the top of Mount Everest via the previously unclimbed south-west face, 33 days after establishing their base camp.

The team succeeded on a difficult direct route which has repulsed five other attempts and set a record for the fastest time up the peak.

Expedition leader Chris Bonington reported the pair had reached the 29,028 ft (8,848 m) summit safely and were now on their way down the mountain.

He also said they were ahead of schedule and hoped more of the 18-strong group would be able to reach the top.

The south-west face of Everest has been regarded as one of the most difficult challenges in mountaineering because of its length and exposure to high-level winds.

I knew Doug would do it one day
Jan Scott
Mr Haston, who runs the International School of Mountaineering in Switzerland, and Mr Scott, a mountain lecturer from Nottingham, had failed twice to conquer the route.

The Queen sent a message to the team offering her warmest congratulations on a "magnificent achievement".

Jan Scott, who is planning to fly out to Nepal to meet her husband, said she was overjoyed by his success.

"It's wonderful - I knew Doug would do it one day," she said.

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Watch/Listen
Chris Bonington and Doug Scott above Camp 5 at 27,000 feet (8,230 m)
The British team took a difficult direct route up the mountain's south-west face

Climber Dougal Haston: "It was a long, very wearing climb". Broadcast 3 Oct 1975



In Context
Mount Everest was first climbed in May 1953 by a British team, but the first climbers on the summit were Tenzing Norgay, a Tibetan, and Edmund Hillary, who was from New Zealand.

The 1975 south-west face expedition was marred by the disappearance of Mick Burke four days later on his way to the summit.

Doug Scott and Chris Bonington became two of Britain's most well-known mountaineers, making hundreds more difficult ascents and lecturing about the sport to make a living.

Dougal Haston was killed in a skiing accident in the Swiss Alps in 1977.

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