Early in his career he was to climb several new Scottish routes with Robin Smith. Climbs such as The Bat on the Carn Dearg Buttress of Ben Nevis was to help establish them as future stars. Smith was to die in an accident in 1962 but Haston was to live on and realize their early promise. In 1970, with Don Whillans, Haston was the first to climb the south face of Annapurna on an expedition led by Chris Bonington and in 1975, with Doug Scott, he was the first to climb Mount Everest by the south-west face, also on an expedition led by Bonington. His memorial in Currie mistakenly claims he was the first British climber to ascend the north face of the Eiger. In fact, this honour went to Bonington and Ian Clough in 1962, but Haston made the first ascent of the Nordwand by the direttissima, or most direct route, in 1966 with Jorg Lehne, Gunther Strobel, Roland Votteler and Siegefried Hupfauer. American John Harlin was killed when a rope snapped (the ropes being used were chosen by Harlin although Haston had requested that they be thicker) and the route was subsequently named after him.
It was at Leysin, in January 1977, whilst skiing alone on the north-east face of La Riondaz to the Col Luisset that he was killed by an avalanche. It appeared that he had been choked by his scarf. He is buried at Leysin.
"In winter, the mountains seem to regain their primitive, virginal pride, and no more do the howling, littering summer masses tramp their more accessible slopes." — Dougal Haston quoted in Jeff Connors' biography (p 104)
"...that most impenetrable of big walls, the mind of Dougal Haston." — from a review of Connors' biography.
Haston: A Life in the Mountains BBC2 2006.
- Haston, Dougal and Gillman, Peter (1966). Eiger Direct. London: Collins.
- Haston, Dougal (1972). In High Places. London: Cassell. ISBN 0-304-29073-4.
- Haston, Dougal (1974). The Eiger. London: Cassell. ISBN 0-304-29373-3.
- Haston, Dougal (1979). Calculated Risk. London: Diadem Books. ISBN 0-906371-45-7.
- Connor, Jeff (2002). Douglas Haston: The Philosophy of Risk. Edinburgh: Canongate Books. ISBN 1-84195-215-X.
- Peter Donnelly, ‘Haston, Duncan Curdy McSporran [Dougal] (1940–1977)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Retrieved 18 May 2007
- "Dougal Haston". Find a Grave. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
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