Sir Chris Bonington, 80 on Wednesday

Sir Chris Bonington, 80 on Wednesday

One of the elder statesmen of British mountaineering celebrates his 80th birthday tomorrow.

Sir Chris Bonington is still climbing and hillwalking and is said to be planning a major adventure in the near future.

Sir Christian John Storey Bonington has been a major player in the UK mountaineering scene, posting the first British ascent of the North Face of the Eiger and the first ascent of The Ogre in Pakistan.

The latter involved fellow climber Doug Scott breaking both legs and Chris suffering fractured ribs and the ascent was not replicated for 24 years.

He summited Everest at the age of 50 after leading and taking part in four previous expeditions to the world’s highest mountain.

Sir Chris Bonington started climbing in 1951 at the age of 16, and it has been his passion ever since. During more than 60 years of adventure, Bonington has undertaken and led 19 Himalayan expeditions

He has written 17 books and fronted numerous television programmes, and was a key participant in the live television broadcast of the first ascent of the Old Man of Hoy in 1966. He has also lectured to the public and corporate audiences all over the world. Bonington received a knighthood in 1996 for services to mountaineering.

Sir Chris takes to the Lakeland fells with another outdoors luminary, fellrunner Joss Naylor

Sir Chris takes to the Lakeland fells with another outdoors luminary, fellrunner Joss Naylor

Sir Chris Bonington has also been active in the outdoor community, with roles in the British Mountaineering Council, Outdoor Industries Association, Council for National Parks, the Outward Bound Trust and, most recently, the Friends of Blencathra.

The mountaineer is non-executive chairman of UK outdoor brand Berghaus. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of his association with the company and Berghaus said it will announce a series of events to celebrate both that landmark and his 80th birthday.

It added there will be a major climbing project that Bonington will undertake to mark his 80th birthday.

Sir Chris, who lives on the edge of the Lake District, will use his landmark birthday to raise awareness of motor neurone disease. His wife Wendy died recently from the illness and Sir Chris and his family are raising funds for research into the condition, for which there is presently no cure. He hopes to raise cash for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Hospice at Home and Cumbria Crossroads, which both gave care and support to the family during his wife’s illness.

Doug Scott, who broke both legs in his ascent with Bonington of The Ogre

Doug Scott, who broke both legs in his ascent with Bonington of The Ogre

A sequence of videos will be released during this week on the Berghaus YouTube page.

The Berghaus Facebook page will host Sir Chris Bonington themed galleries, competitions and other material, while @TheRealBerghaus on Twitter will encourage the public to share their birthday messages with the octogenarian mountaineer.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Sir Chris Bonington takes up outdoor guild’s president post
  2. Bonington’s Old Man of Hoy ascent to air on BBC’s The One Show tonight
  3. Bonington and Scott will join Lakes summit
  4. Leo Houlding faces race as illness and weather delay Mirror Wall climb
  5. Walkers can join Bonington in celebration event