In September 1997, he became the Youngest Briton to climb Mount Ama Dablam in the Himalayas (22,500 feet), a peak described by Sir Edmond Hillary as ‘unclimbable’. Bear co wrote and presented a TV series for Channel 4, Escape To The Legion.
Bear’s achievements are made even more extraordinary when you discover that just two years before he climbed Everest he suffered a near fatal parachuting accident in Africa; breaking his back in three places and narrowly escaping a life of paralysis. He spent a torturous year of rehabilitation constantly facing the fact that he might never walk again, let alone achieve his childhood dream of climbing Everest. Despite moments of great pain and despair, Bear worked hard to regain full mobility and together with a team of friends he planned his expedition. With characteristic determination and charm he raised the enormous sponsorship needed and began training for the daunting challenge. Enduring extreme weather for ninety days, two months of limited sleep and surviving running out of oxygen in the upper regions of the ‘death zone’ (above 26,000 feet). Bear is one of only thirty British climbers to have successfully completed climbing Everest and return alive. The death toll on Mount Everest rises every year, out of every six mountaineers who make it to the top, one will die. Bear himself had a narrow escape. On the way down from his first reconnaissance climb, whilst navigating the perilous Khumbu Icefall, the ice cracked and he fell into a 1,000 feet deep crevasse. He was knocked unconscious and had it not been for his team-mates he would not be alive today. This particular incident was dramatised as part of the award winning, Sure For Men advertising campaign, which starred Bear and was broadcast worldwide.
Bear has written two books, Facing Up (published in America under the title, The Kid Who Climbed Everest), records his Everest expedition and soared into the bestseller list selling over 70,000 copies in the UK alone and Facing The Frozen Ocean (his arctic expedition) which was published by Macmillan in 2004.
Before climbing Everest, Bear spent three years as a Specialist Combat Survival Instructor and Patrol Medic with the British Special Forces. As a keen environmentalist, he led the first team to Jet Ski around Britain testing a pioneering new fuel made from rubbish and owns a nature reserve on an island, off the Welsh coast. When he is not on his island, Bear lives on a houseboat in London.
His natural talent for communicating and entertaining on all levels with everyone and anyone has made him a popular personality in his own right. As one of the youngest and most successful motivational speakers on the international business circuit, Bear has won over even the toughest of audiences and has a list of extremely impressive references to his credit.