Bear Grylls



Edward Michael "Bear" Grylls (born 7 June 1974), known as Bear Grylls, is a British mountaineer, adventurer, author, television presenter, and motivational speaker.

Grylls, a former member of the Special Air Service (SAS), made his name in 1998 by becoming, at the age of 23, the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest and return alive.

He hosts the television programme Man vs. Wild (on Channel 4 in the UK and on the worldwide Discovery Channel) and is currently filming new HD episodes of Man vs. Wild.

He is the son of the late Conservative party politician Sir Michael Grylls and his wife Sally. He was educated at Eton College and studied for a degree in Hispanic Studies from London University. He served part-time for three years in the British Special Forces in the British SAS before a parachuting accident broke his spine in three places, forcing him to leave the Forces. Bear lives on a converted barge on the River Thames with his wife Shara and their two sons Marmaduke and Jesse. He is Christian, and in many interviews has expressed his devout faith.

Grylls passed UK Special Forces Selection, serving as a Sabre soldier, trained in unarmed combat, desert and winter warfare, combat survival, medics, parachuting, signals, evasive driving, climbing and explosives.

He served for 3 years in 21 SAS, one of two Territorial Army regiments in the Special Air Service referred to as the "SAS(R)". 21 SAS specializes in Close Target Reconnaissance and attack(CTR). During his time with 21 SAS Grylls served actively in North Africa twice. His military career ended abruptly, however, in 1996, when a routine parachute exercise in southern Africa went wrong. His canopy ripped severely and caused him to spiral towards earth from 16,000ft at twice the normal speed, leaving him with three broken vertebrae and left him struggling to feel his legs. Grylls spent the next 12 months in rehabilitation and, with his military career over, directed his efforts into trying to get well enough to fulfill his childhood dream of climbing Everest.

Grylls no longer serves in the British Special Forces but he was awarded the honorary rank of Lieutenant Commander in the UK's Royal Naval Reserve.

Bear Grylls works as an international motivational speaker.

Grylls's first television appearance was in an advertisement for Sure deodorant featuring his ascent of Everest compared with what really made him sweat (giving a motivational talk to an audience). He has been a guest on many television programmes, including Friday Night with Jonathon Ross on Friday, Oprah Winfrey Show, Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno, David Letterman, and has also gone on to host and produce two television series of his own, Escape to the Legion and Man vs. Wild (Born Survivor: Bear Grylls).

Grylls filmed a four-part documentary in 2005 called Escape to the Legion which followed Grylls and 11 other UK recruits in the French Foreign Legion as they endured the month-long basic desert training in the Sahara. The show was broadcast in the UK on Channel 4, and in the USA on the Military Channel.

Grylls hosted an 8-part documentary series known in the U.S. on Discovery Channel as Man vs. Wild, and titled Born Survivor: Bear Grylls for Channel 4 and Discovery Channel in Europe, Asia & Africa. The series features Grylls being dropped into some of the most inhospitable places on earth and showing viewers how to survive. Season 2 premiered in the US on June 15th, 2007. His brand of TV includes sheer cliff climbs, wading massive rapids, and even wrapping his boxers around his head to help stave off the desert heat. Bear has eaten live snakes, rubbed ice on his body to warm up after jumping into an icy lake, squeezed elephant dung into his mouth for water, ripped raw chunks of meat off a dead zebra with his teeth, drank his own urine, and spent hours constructing a bamboo bridge in attempt to cross a river. Intermittently, Bear also regales the viewer with tales of other adventurers stranded in the wilderness. These stories inevitably end in one of two ways: someone gets "lucky" and survives or someone struggles to remain alive for weeks on end but eventually dies. The Discovery Channel and Channel 4 are reviewing the Man vs. Wild program following allegations that viewers were given the impression he was really stranded alone in the wild.

Grylls' first book titled Facing Up, went into the UK top 10 best-seller list, and was launched in the USA titled, The Kid Who Climbed Everest. Its subject is his expedition, at 23 years old, to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. The book details the climb, from his first reconnaissance climb on which he fell in a crevasse and was knocked unconscious, coming to swinging on the end of a rope, to the grueling ascent that took him over ninety days of extreme weather, sleep deprivation and almost running out of oxygen inside the death zone.

Grylls' second book Facing the Frozen Ocean was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2004, it describes how - with a team of five men - he completed the first unassisted crossing of the frozen North Atlantic, Arctic Ocean in a rigid inflatable boat. He was awarded an Honorary commission in the Royal Navy, as a Lieutenant-Commander for this feat.

A book was also written to accompany the series Born Survivor: Bear Grylls. It was published under the same title as the television series, featuring survival skills learned from some of the world's most hostile places. This book reached the Sunday Times Top 10 best-seller list.

Grylls first entered the record books in 1997 by being the youngest Briton to summit Ama Dablam in the Himalayas, a peak famously described by Sir Edmund Hillary as "unclimbable".

Then in 1998, Grylls broke another record of becoming the youngest Briton, at 23, to summit Mount Everest. Both these achievements are made even more remarkable by the fact that a mere two years earlier he almost severed his spinal cord in a near fatal parachuting accident in Africa.

On a recent interview with David Letterman (June 2007) Letterman calls him "The youngest Briton to summit Everest" and Bear corrects him by saying another man (Michael Matthews) did it the following year but died on the way down, and regardless of his death it has become this man's record.

In 2000 Grylls led the first team to circumnavigate the UK on personal watercraft, to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Lifeboats. Three years later he led a team of five British men on the first unassisted crossing of the north Atlantic Arctic Ocean, in an open rigid inflatable boat. The team was hampered by giant waves, icebergs and storms.

In 2005 Grylls led the first team ever to attempt to paramotor over the remote jungle plateaux of the Angel Falls in Venezuela. The team was attempting to reach the highest, most remote high tepuis, made famous by Conan Doyle's Lost World.

In 2007 Grylls broke a new world record by flying a petrol-powered paraglider over the Himalayas, higher than Mount Everest. He had to cope with temperatures of -60C and dangerously low oxygen levels to reach 29,500 feet, almost 10,000 feet higher than the previous record of 20,019 feet. The expedition raised $1 million for the charity Global Angels. Grylls described the expedition, filmed for a 2 hour film for Discovery Channel worldwide as well as Channel 4 in the UK, as "the hairiest, most frightening thing" he had ever done.

Record claim unlikely to be ratified:

According to British journalist Tarquin Cooper, the aerial sports community does not seem ready to accept Grylls’s word. Fellow adventurers are questioning how Grylls was able to determine his altitude when his flight instruments, including his altimeter, froze during the ascent. They also feel that since Grylls is claiming to have bettered the current altitude record by 10,000 feet, a considerable achievement, he should be challenged to provide some evidence of his accomplishment.

The pair took off from 14,500 feet, 20 miles south of the mountain. Grylls says he got within two miles of the famous peak during his ascent. From there, the mission website reports him “riding the wind into the record books”. However, Meredith-Hardy, who adjudicates records for the Fédération Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the body that governs aviation records, said it was highly unlikely their altitude record claim would be ratified.

“There are various formalities and rules. You need a proper flight recorder trace, an FAI license, you’ve got to take off from flat ground – you can’t just take off from the side of a hill. You need to have a flight observer. If you don’t, it’s not a record.”

He added, “It’s the responsibility of anybody who does anything ground-breaking to prove what they have done.”

He said that even if the instrument displays froze mid-flight, as Grylls wrote afterwards, it doesn’t mean they stopped recording. “It may well be they’ve got a trace.”

Alongside balloonist and mountaineer David Hempleman-Adams, Bear Grylls created a world record for the highest ever open-air formal dinner party, which they did under a hot air balloon at 25,000 feet, dressed in full mess kit and oxygen masks. This was in aid of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Charity.

Charitable works

Grylls has a close relationship with several charitable organisations; many of his expeditions and stunts raise large sums of money for them.

Global Angels, a UK charity which seeks to aid needy children around the world, were the beneficiaries of his 2007 attempt to take a powered paraglider higher than Everest.

Grylls's attempt to hold the highest ever dinner party at 25,000 feet was in aid of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme and launched the 50th anniversary of the Awards.

His attempt to circumnavigate Britain on jetskis raised money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution Lifeboats.

Grylls' Everest climb was in aid of SSAFA Forces, a British-based charitable organisation set up to help former and serving members of the United Kingdom armed forces and their families.

His 2003 Arctic expedition detailed in the book Facing the Frozen Ocean was in aid of The Prince's Trust, an organisation which provides training, financial, and practical support to under-privileged young people in Britain. He has now been made an ambassador for The Prince's Trust.

His 2005 attempt to paramotor over the Angel Falls was in aid of the charity Hope & Homes for Children.

Grylls is also vice president for The JoLt Trust, a small charity that takes disabled, disadvantaged, abused or neglected young people on challenging month-long expeditions.

Grylls used his story of how his Christian faith came alive as a teenager, and images from a climb of Mount Snowdon for the promotion of the Alpha course, a popular Christianity for beginners course used by many Christian denominations.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home