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Kingussie author hits heights with book on legendary mountaineer

By Gavin Musgrove

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Catherine Moorehead at the launch last Autumn of her book which is now a prizewinner.
Catherine Moorehead at the launch last Autumn of her book which is now a prizewinner.

Kingussie writer Catherine Moorehead has scaled the literary heights with her biography of legendary climber Doug Scott.

She was informed this past week that she has won the 2024 Kekoo Naoroji Award for mountain writing with her for her biography of Scott, entitled ‘Mountain Guru’.

As the Strathy reported, the book was launched last October to rave reviews in Edinburgh and locally at the Kingussie High Street studio of mountain photogapher Ed Smith.

The latest accolade comes courtesy of Indian millionaire mountaineer Kekoo Naoroji,

It is sustained in his memory by the Godrej family of Mumbai, India. The prize is the biggest annual award in Asia for writing in English about mountaineering and is one of the three main global prizes for writing of this kind.

Later in April, Catherine will be travelling to Mumbai to attend the Award Ceremony. The prize is of 100,000 Indian rupees, or about £1200 at present exchange rates.

A delighted Moorhead told the Strathy: “A bit of Indian sun won’t go amiss next month!”

Doug Scott was a legend among mountaineers. His expeditions, undertaken over a period of five decades, remain unparalleled achievements.

Moorhead’s book describes the extraordinary drama of them all, from the Himalaya to New Zealand, Patagonia, Yosemite and Alaska. It includes his famous ‘epic’ on The Ogre, one of the hardest peaks in the world to climb, his ascent of Kangchenjunga without supplementary oxygen and his ascent, with Dougal Haston, of Everest in 1975.

Widely travelled herself, Moorhead led various mountaineering expeditions, particularly in Central Asia, completing her Scottish Munros in 1996.

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