Drinks, books and tickets from 6.30 pm lecture starts 7.30 pm
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Sir Chris Bonington, one of the greatest mountaineers in history lectures on "Boundless Horizons ", a tour of his first ascents in the greater ranges, as always accompanied by superb mountain photography.
This lecture takes as its starting point the conclusion of his previous lecture to the Society, "The Great Climbs ", when Sir Chris climbed the Central Pillar of Freney on the south side of Mont Blanc, rated as the last great problem in the Alps. The following year, of which it is now the 50th Anniversary, Sir Chris made the first British ascent of the North Wall of the Eiger, the most challenging and dangerous North Face in the Alps.
The lecture follows on with the great climbs Sir Chris has done since then beyond Everest, all of them first ascents in the greater ranges, to the time when he was still tackling unclimbed peaks in the Himalaya.
The lecture includes a description of his epic first ascent and descent of the fearsome Ogre in Pakistan with Doug Scott. Following their triumph, on the descent Doug Scott broke both legs while Sir Chris broke his ribs. They went without food for five days while descending with their injuries in a savage storm, one of the most famous escapes in mountaineering history. The mountain has only had one further ascent, after some twenty attempts.
Sir Chris continues with his first ascent of Kongur, at the time the second highest unclimbed peak in the world. He also talks of his alpine style ascents of Shivling in the Indian Himalaya, Panch Chuli II and Drang Nag Ri. Finally he describes the third ascent of Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica.
As well as his climbs Sir Chris recounts the tale of his voyage to Greenland with sailor Sir Robin KnoxJohnston in the wooden yacht "Suhaili ", in which Sir Robin had made the first circumnavigation of the world, when they pooled their mountaineering and sailing skills to navigate to, and then climb, peaks of the uninhabited, icebound north East Greenland coast. Sir Chris concludes with his ascent of the Cathedral, a magnificent peak above the Arctic Circle.
Sir Christian Bonington was educated at University College, London and subsequently attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Sir Chris has climbed widely from Greenland to Antarctica since he was sixteen. One of the greatest mountaineers in history, he has made many celebrated first ascents, including twelve of peaks over 6,000 metres. These "firsts " include the Central Pillar of Freney in the Alps, Annapurna II and Nuptse in the Himalayas, The Ogre in the Karakoram, Kongur in Sinkiang and the Central Tower of the Paine in Patagonia. He has made some 26 expeditions to the peaks of central Asia alone. He is also a highly successful author and broadcaster having published 17 books, many of them best sellers. He holds innumerable awards and has been President of the Alpine Club, Chancellor of Lancaster University, consulting editor of "Geographical " the RGS monthly magazine as well as numerous other public positions. He has been awarded the Founder’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society. Most recently, in 2010, he was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for services to Outward Bound and the Youth Hostels Association worldwide.