Bear Grylls is an adventurer, presenter, author and one of the youngest-ever climbers of Mount Everest.
He has hosted more extreme adventure TV shows across more global networks than anyone else in the world.
An honorary Colonel to the Royal Marine Commandos, he is also Chief Scout to 40 million worldwide Scouts.
At 7.22am on May 26th 1998, Bear Grylls 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 ascent took over ninety days of extreme weather, limited sleep. Furthermore, Bear ran out of oxygen deep inside the ‘death zone’.
On the way down from his first reconnaissance climb, Bear was almost killed in a crevasse at 19,000 feet. The ice cracked, the ground disappeared beneath him, and he was knocked unconscious. He eventually 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’.
In 2003, Bear completed another groundbreaking expedition, leading a team across the 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. Bear was awarded an Honorary commission in the Royal Navy for this record-breaking feat.
In 2007, Bear Grylls 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.
Before the Everest Expedition, Bear spent three years with the British Special Air Service (21 SAS). During his SAS service, he suffered a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa where he broke his back in three places.
After months of rehabilitation, always focusing on his childhood dream of Everest, he slowly became strong enough to attempt the ultimate ascent of the world’s highest peak.
Bear Grylls has a natural talent for communication, as a result, his TV shows have brought him worldwide acclaim.
Bear’s first book, ‘Facing Up‘, went into the top-10 best seller list, and was launched in the USA titled, ‘The Kid who climbed Everest‘. Worldwide, this book has touched people through its enduring honesty, courage and humility.
His book ‘Facing the Frozen Ocean‘, was short-listed as Sports Book of the Year.
Bear’s first TV break came in a ‘Sure For Men‘ deodorant TV commercial (Rexona, worldwide). This featured the story of Bear’s Everest climb and what makes him most nervous! The advert was awarded campaign of the week on its release.
His first significant TV Series was for Channel Four, called ‘Escape to the Legion‘, where he went through simulated basic training with Legionnaires in North Africa and told the story of what it is like for a recruit to join the French Foreign Legion.
Due to the success of the Foreign Legion Documentary, Bear was commissioned to present 15 x 1-hour programmes for a TV Series called ‘Man Vs Wild‘ on Discovery Channel Worldwide, plus also an 8-part TV Series for Channel Four titled ‘Born Survivor: Bear Grylls‘. These feature Bear being parachuted into some of the most inhospitable deserts, jungles and mountains on earth and showing what you need to do to survive!
The show went on to become the No. 1 cable show in all of America. The book accompanying the Series stayed for ten weeks in the Sunday Times Bestseller List.
Bear Grylls – Keynote Speaker
As a keynote speaker, Bear draws on his experiences and talks about the four things that have shaped him and the lessons he’s learnt along the way.
Through his keynote, he guides the audience on a journey to understand how to overcome challenges and adversity and to learn from failures.
His stories of resilience, courage, and never giving up, will inspire and empower the audience to get out and find their own adventures!
Where he talks about the human bonds that tie people together when the chips are down. About what it means to have your life depending on a thin rope between you and your team-mate. The ability to work together under such harrowing conditions as 28,000 ft above sea-level, in -40o Celsius. And how crucial a role honesty, integrity and trust play when your lives hang precariously in the balance.
Bear’s story focuses on that ability to find something unique, deep inside, when it matters – not a transient, chest-beating form of motivation that fades when the going gets tough, but the discovery of a core drive, that sustains you through the darkest times. An instinct to achieve. A quiet strength. It’s about finding that little bit ‘extra’; that vital word that makes the difference between the ordinary and the ‘extraordinary
A realisation that the qualities needed for effective leadership can be learnt. That real leaders inspire a feel-good factor around them; you want to be with them regardless. That we all perform better when we are appreciated and encouraged and valued. That leaders think bigger, and differently. They inspire those around them to go that little bit further, to perform that little bit better and feel that little bit stronger.
Bear is only too aware that a capable team on a high mountain relies on honest communication. Having a shared purpose, a culture of can-do and want-to; rather than politics or one-up-man-ship. Encouraging faith in each other, encouraging trust, and an ability to share weaknesses as well as strengths. An awareness that vulnerability creates bonds, and where there are bonds, there is strength. A determination to make it together, where humility is a virtue and kindness matters.
That we all have our own Everest’s in our lives. Bear’s story is really about applying those simple qualities that kept him alive and that helped him become one of the few, or as is often said, “one of the ‘lucky’ on Everest.” It’s a story about knowing that the harder we try and the more of our heart we put into things, the luckier we all become.
That each of us is special and have that strength to reach our own summits.
If Bear made it to the top of the physical world, despite the terrible odds, statistics, pitfalls, and even a broken back in three places only two years earlier…then we too can reach the highest peaks in our lives.