Alastair Borthwick will forever be remembered as a man of many talents. In his lifetime, he was celebrated as a distinguished journalist, a mountaineer, and a talented broadcaster. He is recognized for his service in the world 11 and his ability to capture grimness of the war in his acclaimed book sans peur.
At 11 years, Troon- born Alastair moved to Glasgow. He left high school to work at the Evening Times as a copytaker at 16 and later moved to Glasgow Weekly Herald. He did not have specific duties since the paper had only a few employees. His responsibilities ranged from attending to reader’s queries to compiling crossword and editing film content.
It was through the open air page of the newspaper that the teenage Alastair discovered his passion for mountaineering. Unemployment at Scotland was significant at the time, and many took to hiking as leisure, among them Borthwick. It was not long before Alastair became addicted to his new hobby and ended up writing most of his experiences in the paper. He afterward wrote his famous book Always a Little Further based on his mountaineering experiences.
In 1995, Alastair went to London to work for the Daily Mirror, but left a year shortly. He found his home in the BBC radio broadcasting, which he complimented with writing. As a broadcaster, Alastair was broadly regarded as an exceptionally talented speaker who focused on the niche of mountaineering. His producer Fergusson greatly admired his style and depicted him as a man who treated a microphone as an old friend. Alastair was always unpretentious about his capability and thought of it as a natural way to speak.
Borthwick Alastair, the Scottish icon, died in September 2003 at the age of 90. He spent his last years in Beith at a nursing home. When asked how he wanted to be remembered, the modest Alastair said, he thought himself as a journey writer who wrote well. Undeniably, Alastair will remain to be the unforgotten legend, reputable for his entertaining mountaineering stories, broadcasting gift, and his precise description of the war.