Sir Chris Bonington CVO, CBE
Sir Chris Bonington was born in London and in the 1950s, served for five years as an officer in the British Army. Shortly after leaving the Army, he became a professional mountaineer and explorer.
Sir Chris had started climbing at the age of 16 and it has been his passion ever since. He is Britain’s most famous living mountaineer and his accomplishments are legendary, comprising a host of innovative new routes and first ascents. He has been on 29 Himalayan expeditions including four to Mount Everest and has made many first ascents in the Alps and great ranges of the world.
In 1962 Chris made the first British ascent of the formidable North Wall of the Eiger and in 1970, he led the expedition that made the first ascent of the South Face of Annapurna, the most difficult climb in the Himalayas at the time.
Sir Chris led his first expedition to Mount Everest in 1972. This was followed by a successful attempt in 1975 when he led the British Mt Everest Southwest Face Expedition. In 1982 he led an expedition to the Northeast Ridge and in April 1985, he became the oldest mountaineer, at the age of 50, to reach the summit by the South Col route.
A resident of the Lake District in Cumbria, Sir Chris succeeded Princess Alexandra as Chancellor of Lancaster University in 2005 and served for ten years. He was knighted in 1996 for his services to sport.
Sir Chris continues to be an active mountaineer and motivational speaker.