Despite moments of great pain and despair, Bear worked hard to regain full mobility and together with a team of friends he planned his expedition. With characteristic determination he raised the enormous sponsorship needed and began training for the daunting challenge.
The actual ascent of Everest took ninety days enduring extreme weather, two months of limited sleep and running out of oxygen in the upper regions of the ‘death zone’ (above 26,000 feet). On May 26th, 1998 at 07.22am, Bear joined only thirty British climbers to have successfully completed the expedition and return alive. Every year the death toll on Mount Everest rises, for every six mountaineers who make it to the top, one will die.
On the way down from his first reconnaissance climb, Bear cheated death while navigating the perilous Khumbu Icefall, the ice cracked and he fell into a 1,000 foot deep crevasse, was knocked unconscious and came to swinging on the end of a rope. Had it not been for the tenacity of his team mates he would not be alive today. This incident was dramatised as part of the award winning, ‘Sure For Men’ advertising campaign, which stars Bear and is being broadcast worldwide at present. It is also known as ‘Rexona’ in Europe.
Before the Everest expedition, Bear spent three years as a Specialist Combat Survival Instructor and Patrol Medic with the British Special Forces. In September 1997, he became the Youngest Briton to climb Mount Ama Dablam in the Himalayas (22,500 feet), a peak described by Sir Edmond Hillary as ‘unclimbable’.
As a keen environmentalist, he led the first team to Jet Ski around Britain testing a pioneering new fuel made from rubbish and owns a nature reserve on an island, off the coast of Wales. Bear was a guest presenter on Meridian TV’s Ridgeriders, talking about the countryside and places of interest on a motorbike ride. As a survival expert he is totally at home in any outdoor situation and when in London he lives on houseboat with his wife. He has a passion for sailing and all extreme sports.
His book, ‘Facing Up’, published by Macmillan soared into the best-seller list and to date has sold over 35,000 copies. His natural talent for communicating with everyone and entertaining led to a major new television series of his own, to be broadcast next year. He has been a lively guest on ‘Ready, Steady Cook’ BBC TV, The Sean Hughes Show, Ainsley’s Meals in Minutes BBC TV, This Morning ITV, Through The Keyhole BBC TV, Bigger Breakfast CH4 and many others. He has presented on The National Geographic ‘Young Explorers’ series and written articles for The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph.
As one of the youngest motivational speakers on the international business circuit, Bear has won over even the toughest of audiences and has a list of extremely impressive references to his credit.
BEAR GRYLLS SELECTED REFERENCES
“There are precious few people in this world who can really make a difference in a positive way, you are one. Many thanks for all you are doing for BA. It is so good for our people to hear and learn from someone who has done so much in a world so different from ours”. CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH AIRWAYS
“I have never had such a positive reaction to a guest speaker before, the team were simply enthralled…an inspiration to all who listened! Somehow you still managed to make the challenges we face in our jobs relevant on a personal level to yours”. TRADING DIRECTOR, COCA COLA ENTERPRISES LTD
“Bear was exceptionally well received by the audience, we thought he scored 10 out of 10”. BP INTERNATIONAL
“Bear has a wonderful way of conveying his passion and excitement of the life threatening adventures he’s been on in a highly personal and compelling way – the ripples he has sent out across our business has been terrific. His delivery and content for our conference was excellent”. W H SMITH LTD
“Your talk went down extremely well with all of our audience, I received special thank you letters from the Chief Executives saying that your speech was the most entertaining we have had to date . One of the best speakers we’ve had in years” PRICE WATERHOUSE COOPERS
“Our thanks for your professional and inspirational contribution to our lunch, the combination of your particular style and breathtaking video was entirely appropriate and hit all the right notes”. THE INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS
“All our senior Chief Executives had great things to say about Bear, he was a fantastic speaker”. UBS WARBURG SENIOR TEAM DINNER
“Your fascinating presentation at our Negotiators and Valuers Conference was truly amazing, especially for someone so young. Without exception we were all absorbed, it has had a positive impact across our company”. MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHRISTIE & CO
“He was one of the best and most enjoyable speakers we’ve ever had for our Investors in People dinner”. SUSSEX TEC
“Content of his presentation was excellent and he had a good delivery” AZTEC
“Bear was marvellous, his presentation was unique and we all appreciated his great sense of humour” AXA INSURANCE CONFERENCE
“I have seen a number of presentations on the climbing of Everest over the years, but I can honestly say this is the first time that I have got a real sense of what it means and feels like to attempt the climb and to succeed. Your presentation is delightful and inspiring”. SENIOR PARTNER, DAVIS LANGDON & EVEREST
“We absolutely loved him, he was a fantastic after dinner speaker”. REUTERS
“One of the most moving and honest speakers I have heard in many years.” SPIKE MILLIGAN