Sir Chris Bonington on the Climb of His Life | Interview
We sit down with the legend of mountaineering following the premiere of documentary on his extraordinary life
First of all there was the Dragon’s Back Race film, which documented last summer’s gruelling five-day, 315km running race across Wales’s mountainous spine. Then straight after, there was the premiere for the 80-minute documentary on the life of Sir Chris Bonington.
“We were fortunate to sit down with the man himself following the premiere..."
Often considered to be one of Britain’s greatest ever climbers, Sir Bonington’s incredible list of achievements includes the first ascent of Annapurna II, and the south west face of Everest, along with the first British ascent of the north face of the Eiger. He was also the first person to climb the Old Man of Hoy, a sea stack in the Orkney Isles, an ascent which he repeated 48 years later aged 82.
The documentary, which was directed by both Brian Hall and Keith Partridge (right in main picture), is as much about British climbing in the second half of the twentieth century as it is about the life of Sir Chris Bonington. With incredibly vivid detail, he reminisces of his encounters with other legends of mountaineering, and the many tragedies that he experienced throughout his entire career, most notably being part of the expedition on which both Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker died.
We were fortunate to sit down with the man himself following the premiere where he shared his memories of the challenges he faced throughout his life and gave an insight into the ways in which he overcame them.