Chris Bonington

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Sir Chris Bonington
Personal information
Full name Sir Christian John Storey Bonington
Main discipline Mountaineering
Other disciplines Climbing, Alpinism, Art
Born (1934-08-06) 6 August 1934 (age 80)
Hampstead, London, England
Nationality British
Career
Notable ascents North Wall of the Eiger (1962),
Famous Partnerships Ian Clough, Don Whillans, Jan Długosz
Family
Spouse Wendy Bonington (m. 1962–2014; her death)
Children Conrad [died 1966] Daniel & Rupert Bonington

Sir Christian John Storey Bonington, CVO, CBE, DL (born 6 August 1934, Hampstead, London) is a British mountaineer.

His career has included nineteen expeditions to the Himalayas, including four to Mount Everest and the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna.

Early life and expeditions[edit]

Bonnington's father, who left the family when Christian was nine months old, was a founding member of L Detachment, Special Air Service.[1] Bonington first began climbing in 1951 at age 16.[2] Educated at University College School in Hampstead, Bonington joined the Royal Fusiliers before attending Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and on graduation was commissioned in the Royal Tank Regiment in 1956. After three years in North Germany, he spent two years at the Army Outward Bound School as a mountaineering instructor.

Bonington was part of the party that made the first British ascent of the South West Pillar (aka Bonatti Pillar) of the Aiguille du Dru in 1958, and the first ascent of the Central Pillar of Freney on the south side of Mont Blanc in 1961 with Don Whillans, Ian Clough and Jan Dlugosz (Poland). In 1960 he was part of the successful joint British-Indian-Nepalese forces expedition to Annapurna II.

On leaving the British Army in 1961, he joined Van den Berghs, a division of Unilever, but he left after nine months, and became a professional mountaineer and explorer. In 1966 he was given his first assignment by the Daily Telegraph magazine to cover other expeditions, including climbing Sangay in Ecuador and hunting caribou with Inuit on Baffin Island. In 1968 he accompanied Captain John Blashford-Snell and his British Army team in the attempt to make the first-ever descent of the Blue Nile.

Writing[edit]

Bonington has written or edited numerous books, made many television appearances, and received many honours, including, since January 2005, the chancellorship of Lancaster University. He is honorary president of the Hiking Club and Lancaster University Mountaineering Club and has a boat named after him among Lancaster University Boat Club's fleet. Furthermore he is the Honorary President of the British Orienteering Federation. He has lived in Cumbria with his wife, Wendy since 1974. He is a patron, and former president (1988–91), of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC). He succeeded Edmund Hillary as the Honorary President of Mountain Wilderness, an international NGO dedicated to the worldwide protection of mountains.

Personal life[edit]

Bonington was married to Wendy, a freelance illustrator of children's books. She died on 24 July 2014. The couple had three sons: Conrad (died 1966), Daniel, and Rupert Bonington.

Tributes[edit]

In 1974 Bonington received the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.[3] In 1985 he received the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. Bonington has been recognised as one of the great explorers of modern times by St. Helen's School, Northwood, England which has named one of its four houses after him. Bonington was presented with the Golden Eagle Award for services to the outdoors in 2008 by the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.

Honours[edit]

Bonington was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1976 in recognition of the previous year's successful ascent of Everest[4] and was knighted in 1996 for his services to the sport. He was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 2010 Birthday Honours for his services to the Outward Bound Trust.[5]

Notable climbs[edit]

Expedition leader[edit]

Although expedition leader, Bonington did not reach the summit of these peaks on these expeditions

Bibliography[edit]

  • I Chose to Climb (Gollancz) 1966
  • Annapurna South Face (Cassell) 1971
  • The Next Horizon (Gollancz) 1973
  • Everest South West Face (Hodder and Stoughton) 1973
  • Changabang (Heinemann) 1975
  • Everest the Hard Way (Hodder and Stoughton) 1976
  • Quest for Adventure (Hodder and Stoughton) 1981
  • Kongur: China's Elusive Summit (Hodder and Stoughton) 1982
  • Everest: The Unclimbed Ridge (with Dr Charles Clarke) (Hodder and Stoughton) 1983
  • The Everest Years (Hodder and Stoughton) 1986
  • Mountaineer: Thirty Years of Climbing on the World's Great Peaks (Diadem) 1989
  • The Climbers (BBC Books and Hodder and Stoughton) 1992
  • Sea, Ice and Rock (with Robin Knox-Johnston) (Hodder and Stoughton) 1992
  • Great Climbs (Ed with Audrey Salkeld) (Reed Illustrated Books) 1994
  • Tibet's Secret Mountain, the Triumph of Sepu Kangri (with Dr Charles Clarke) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) 1999
  • Boundless Horizons (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) 2000
  • Chris Bonington's Everest (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) 2002
  • Chris Bonington's Lakeland Heritage (with Roly Smith) (Halsgrove) 2004

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/dec/06/family-values-chris-bonington-mountaineer
  2. ^ "Chris Bonington Biography" Bonington.com. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  3. ^ "Medals and Awards Recipients 1970-2007". Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  4. ^ Willis, Clint (2006). The Boys of Everest: Chris Bonington and the Tragic Story of Climbing's Greatest Generation. London: Robson Books, p 335. ISBN 1-86105-980-9
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59446. p. 3. 12 June 2010.
  6. ^ The First Ascent | Alpinist
  7. ^ Bonington, Chris (1988). "Menlungtse Attempt". American Alpine Journal (New York, NY USA: American Alpine Club) 30 (62): 275–278. ISBN 0-930410-33-5. 
  8. ^ Bonington, Chris (1989). "Menlungtse Western Summit". American Alpine Journal (New York, NY USA: American Alpine Club) 31 (63): 284–286. ISBN 0-930410-39-4. 
  9. ^ [1]"Sir Chris Bonington climbs the Old Man of Hoy again after 48 years". Retrieved 21 August 2014. 

External links[edit]