The Scottish Mountaineerer, Alastair BorthwickAugust 8, 2019 - Author: steph
Alastair was born in 1913 in Rutherglen, Scotland. When he was 16, the iconic Scottish writer Allistair Borthwick dropped out of high school and began work as an editor and journalist for The Glasgow Herald. There he became in charge of editing and writing for the Women’s Page, Children’s Page, Film Reviews, Readers’ Letters, and the crossword puzzle. In 1935 he moved to London to write for The Daily Mirror for a year, then moved back to Glasgow and began working for BBC. After discovering that Alastair has experience in and a deep love for mountaineering, he had him develop a series of shows about it.
He would remain with them until the 60s. In 1939 he used a series of his earlier newspaper articles about the growing mountaineering movement of the Glasgow populace as the basis for a novel called “Always a Little Further.” It is considered one of the greatest classics of the 20th century. This Scottish mountaineering movement had originally been inspired in the early 30s by the “Wandervogel” movement in a German state. Borthwicks articles and book further inspired it and encouraged its continued growth.
It was also encouraged because the 1930s Glasgow area saw mass layoffs at the shipyards, which meant that lots of people had lots of free time on their hands. In time these masses of unemployed mountaineers formed informal hiking clubs. All of this was a revolutionary thing because while mountaineering had been a recognized pastime for many years prior to this point, it was always considered the domain of the rich and famous. In 1940 two huge events happened for Alastair Borthwick: 1) He got married to Anne Corbett and 2) a few months after marriage he joined Scotland in World War II.
In 2003, Anne died. Alastair died the same year just a few months later.