Alastair Borthwick was born in 1913 in Rutherglen, Scotland. At the age of 16, he dropped out of school and joined the evening times a tabloid newspaper in Glasgow before joining Glasgow Herald.
In 1935 Alastair Borthwick went to London to work with the mirror for a year. After which he explored other media opportunities among them running the press club at the empire exhibition before moving to BBC as a scriptwriter.
While at the Herald he discovered rock climbing an activity which had been reserved for the elite of Scotland. However, there was an outdoor culture that was springing up but was not known by many people. He published his first book in 1939. The book; always a little further. It was classic that never ran out of print.
During the world war, Alastair joined the army as an infantry soldier but was later made captain as a battalion intelligence officer. His most outstanding work in the army was when he led 600 men past the Germans front line in complete darkness and by use of dead reckoning navigation.
His colonel then gave him the task of making an account of the 3 years of battle. He then wrote his second book: sans peur. The book never saw a large print run until 1994 when it was republished as; battalion. After the war, he took his wife, Anne and moved to the Isle of Jura.
James Ferguson gave him his first radio opportunity when he brought him in to talk about his rock climbing in 15 min show. He worked on radio with BBC talking about topics he was familiar with until he got a 3-year contract to talk about post-war Scotland. He ventured into television in the 1960s where he shows for the Scottish Grampian network.
Alastair continued to write even in his old age. He had a weekly column for the News Chronicle as well as writing scripts for television shows. He and Anne eventually moved to Ayrshire before they finally moved to a nursing home. After five years in the nursing home, Alastair passed on in 2003.