Mud, Sweat and Tears
The extraordinary life story of the world's most intrepid young explorer
At 7.22am on May 26th 1998, Bear entered The Guinness Book of Records as the youngest, and one of only around thirty, British climbers to have successfully climbed Everest and returned alive. He was only 23 years old.
The actual ascent took Bear over ninety days of extreme weather, limited sleep and running out of oxygen deep inside the 'death zone' (above 26,000 feet). On the way down from his first reconnaissance climb, Bear was almost killed in a crevasse at 19,000 feet. The ice cracked and the ground disappeared beneath him, he was knocked unconscious and came to swinging on the end of a rope. His team-mate and that rope saved his life. The expedition was raising funds for the Rainbow Trust and Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. Previously, in 1997, Bear had become the Youngest Briton to climb Mount Ama Dablam in the Himalayas (22,500 feet), a peak once described by Sir Edmund Hillary as unclimbable'.
Prior to the Everest Expedition, Bear, also a Karate Black Belt, spent three years with the British Special Air Service (21 SAS). What makes his story even more remarkable is that during this time he suffered a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa where he broke his back in three places. After months and months of rehabilitation, focusing always on his childhood dream of Everest, he slowly became strong enough to attempt the ultimate ascent of the world's highest peak.
In 2003 Bear successfully completed another ground breaking expedition, leading a team across the freezing North Atlantic Arctic Ocean in a small open rigid inflatable boat. Suffering weeks of frozen spray and icebergs, the expedition was filmed for a documentary, and was raising funds for the Prince's Trust charity. The book on this remarkable journey, 'Facing the Frozen Ocean', and was short-listed as Sports Book of the Year, and Bear was awarded an Honorary commission in the Royal Navy for this record-breaking feat.
In 2007, he became the first man to fly a powered paraglider to a height above Mount Everest in the Himalaya. Sponsored by GKN, the team raised over $1million in the process for Global Angels and children's charities worldwide.
"A series of ripping yarns by the affable Grylls, made all the more remarkable because they are all true." - Mick Toal, Daily Telegraph, Sydney
Bear Grylls' prime-time TV adventure series are some of the most watched shows on the planet, reaching an estimated 1.2 billion viewers in over 200 countries.
Bear has authored twelve books, including the international bestseller Mud, Sweat and Tears, which has been translated into thirteen languages and was voted the most influential book in China in 2012.
He originally served as a Trooper with 21 SAS, as part of the UK Reserve Special Forces, and subsequently led many record-breaking expeditions to the world's extremes, raising millions of pounds for children's charities. In recognition of this Bear was made an honorary Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy as well as a Colonel in the elite Royal Marines Commandos.
In 2009, Bear took over as the youngest ever Chief Scout to the Scouting Association, acting as a figurehead to 30 million Scouts around the globe.
He lives with his wife, Shara, and their three sons, Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry, on a Dutch barge in London and on a small remote island off the coast of Wales.
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