8 January 2010

Icons of our time - Chris Bonington.

Sir Christian John Storey Bonington, with his grizzly beard gentlemanly demeanor and colourful goretex jackets, a man amongst men. Never afraid of getting out there, forget scuffed knees, grazed elbows and getting your socks wet. This is one serious climber.
One of the most famous British Mountaineers, Bonington has participated in many expeditions to the Himalayas, Everest, the first ascent of Kongur, Vinson Massif and Changabang.
Leading expeditions to Everest, K2 and Annapurna. Born in 1934 and educated in Hampstead, serving in the Royal Fusiliers, training at Sandhurst and with the Royal Tank Regiment.
Having started climbing at an early age, Bonington had established a high standard of rock climbing whilst still in his teens.
Bonington's famed and outstanding climbing expeditions were not without tragedy, in 1975 fellow climber and cameraman Mick Burke failed to return from a summit push of the South West face of Everest. Whilst during an unsuccessful attempt at scaling the north east ridge of Everest in 1982 he lost companions Joe Tasker and Stockport's very own Peter Boardman in the desolate and deathly conditions.
A Decorated ambassador of climbing, Bonington was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1976, and knighted in 1996 for his services to the sport. Receiving the chancellorship of Lancaster University, the Honorary President of both the British Hiking clubs and the Orienteering federation, succeeding Edmund Hillary as the President of Mountain Wilderness along the way, he also has a boat named after him near his now native Cumbria..
As an author, Bonington has released many books detailing a lifetime scaling savage rock faces and the world's deadliest mountains.
He also put his name to original clothing brands such as Belstaff and Berghaus, where the iconic Trango jacket a favourite of acid casuals was put through it's paces in it's intended purposes in the mid to late eighties as a new range Extrem was developed.

The Grepon, Chamonix, France.

Mount Kongur team 1981 : Alan Rouse, Peter Boardman, Chris Bonington and Joe Tasker.

Everest 1975, base camp - Paine 1963, the foot of Chandelle 1961.

Training with breathing apparatus in 1980 ahead of the Kongur expedition.

In earlier days Chris Bonington was affiliated with Belstaff.

And of course, a long standing attribution to Berghaus.

1 comment:

  1. Absolute legend. I had the pleasure of meeting Sir Chris Bonnington a couple of times as a kid, Colne Municipal Hall, must have been early 80's. He was doing slide shows of the Everest and K2 expeditions I think. Still clearly remember shaking his hand and being in awe, frost bitten fingers and all. Thanks for posting.