Alastair Borthwick: A Climber For The People

Alastair Borthwick may have made a name for himself through his writing and broadcasting career, but what many people don’t realize is that he also served in World War II. He has written 2 books during his career that both made an impact despite being about 2 entirely different subjects. His first, titled Always a Little Further, was published in 1938 and was about the world of climbing and the love that the Scottish middle class grew to have for it during the economic depression. The second published book of Borthwick covered his experiences in the war and is titled Sans Peur. The book was first published in 1946 and goes back into print quite often.

Alastair Borthwick is a native of Ayrshire in Scotland but at 11 he and his family moved to Glasgow. He was able to obtain his first job in the newspaper industry in Glasgow with the Evening Times. He was only a copytaker for this company and went on to work for the Glasgow Weekly Herald. At this paper, his responsibilities varied greatly as it was a small publication. He compiled crosswords, responded to readers, and eventually began writing articles for their page called “Open Air”.

He had recently discovered not only a love for hiking in the Scottish Highlands, but also for the people that he had the chance to meet while he was doing it. Alastair Borthwick began recounting these experiences in the column and gained a considerable following. Eventually, he gathered his works into Always a Little Further and was able to share his experiences with a much wider audience than he ever had before.

Prior to publishing his first book, he had taken a position for the Daily Mirror in London and eventually joined the BBC a short time later. He discovered a fondness and talent for radio broadcasting and it was there that he found his fit in the media world. His love for climbing continued throughout his career and he continued to tell the world about is as a broadcaster.