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Authors: Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls

BOOK: Bear Grylls
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Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18


Epigraph page


2. Building the Best

3. Countdown

4. First Blood

5. North from Nova Scotia

6. Surfing the Waves

7. Unseen Crew

8. Running on Vapour

9. Good News, Bad News

10. Terror

11. Lost and Found

12. No More Heroics

13. Safe in Scotland

14. Home Thoughts


The Charity

List of Plates





To Pasang and Nima

for saving my life that day in the Icefall.

I’ll always be indebted to you.


To Shara, now my wife,

you were the reason for

coming home.


Illustration of climbers (
Charlie Mackesy

Plate section

All photographs by the author unless otherwise indicated

Bear and Mick at Base Camp (
Jokey Longworth

Geoffrey at Camp 4 before the second summit attempt (
Geoffrey Stanford

Pasang, the Icefall doctor

The complete team at Base Camp

Yaks ferrying equipment to Base Camp (
Mick Crosthwaite

The imposing Lhotse Face Icewall (
Paul Deegan

Crevasse-crossing in the Icefall (
Neil Laughton

Slowly working our way through the Icefall (
Neil Laughton

The Western Cwm at dusk (
Neil Laughton

One of the corpses on the mountain (
Greg Child

Dusk at Camp 4 (
Mick Crosthwaite

Bear on top of the world, 7:22 a.m., 26 May 1998

Neil’s frost-bitten feet

Bear back at Base Camp for the last time (
Mick Crosthwaite

The four of us post-climb

Foothills leading up to the Upper Himalaya

Summit  29,035 ft

Camp 4  26,000 ft

Camp 3  24,500 ft

Camp 2  21,200 ft

Camp 1  19,750 ft

Base Camp  17,450 ft


Rev. Colonel David Cooper

‘How does it feel to have conquered Everest?’

I was at a lecture that Bear was giving to Eton College not very long after his return to the UK, after his ascent of Everest. He was with Mick Crosthwaite, who accompanied him on the
expedition, and at the end of what was without doubt the best lecture on any subject that I had heard in my time at the school, he was asked this question by a member of the audience.

His answer was illuminating in more ways than one.

‘I didn’t conquer Everest – Everest allowed me to crawl up one side and stay on the peak for a few minutes.’

In that one sentence Bear showed an insight that he had gained on the mountain that all his years of schooling and time in the Army had not given him, though they may have prepared him for

In his book
Captain Smith and Company
, Robert Henriques uses climbing a mountain as a simile for the war he had recently fought. He was a member of a special unit during the Second World
War and his simile has more truth to it than might be recognized by the casual reader who has no experience of war or mountains. It is no coincidence that so many soldiers have also spent a great
deal of their time on mountains, and it is too facile to suggest that it is just for the training value.

Both war and mountains have the capacity to radically change one’s perspective on the world and on one’s place in it.

Without doubt it is the intimate involvement of life or death as an inevitable outcome that invests an event with such great value. When the chances are about even for each of these, it also
invests it with a great capacity to change a person. Such an event is mountaineering.

For most of us our everyday life never presents us with this situation, and for those who it does, it is usually not sought for, but comes as a result of some disaster, man-made or natural.

This book is concerned with a person who has undergone a profound experience, at his own seeking, and we are privileged to be allowed an insight into the mind of the person who sought it. As a
book it is difficult to parallel. Albeit the youngest Briton to ever climb Everest, his understanding and honesty, together with his self-awareness, is of a level that many never reach in a long
life. What we his readers are privileged to share is a very personal account of his ascent, not just of the mountain, but of his humanity.



BOOK: Bear Grylls
12.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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