Update On The Bear Grylls Everest Paraglider Flight

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ExWeb continues to examine Bear Grylls claims of having flown his paraglider higher than Everest. Back in May, the British Adventurer claimed to have flown his gas powered paraglider all the way up to 29,500 feet, saying that he flew higher than Everest and could see no other mountains around him at the time. Everyone took the story and ran with it, most noting that Bear’s claims needed to be independently verified for the record flight to be confirmed.

Several weeks past, and ExWeb posted an article challenging the claim that Bear flew over Everest. The article noted that no climbers on the mountain saw him, nor could his claims of even being near Everest be confirmed. The mystery deepened when we found out that Bear’s altimeter froze up during the flight, and his altitude could not be confirmed from that point on. Bear countered that he never claimed to have flown “over” Everest, only “above” Everest. Something The Adventurist noted a week ago.

Today, ExWeb received an e-mail from Nigel Gifford at the UK High & Wild Group who says that he put together Bear’s initial flight permit, and that the plan all along was to not fly over Everest, but to go above it in height. He notes that Bear was concerned about flying into Chinese airspace all along, and didn’t want to take the risk of getting too close.

From there, ExWeb goes on to analyze how close Bear actually got, and how he determined that he was actually higher than Everest when his instruments were not functioning properly. The article doesn’t really clear anything up, other than to understand Bear’s initial flight plan and permit. We probably won’t know for sure until we see the video form the flight, which is currently in the hands of a television production crew who are making a documentary out of it.

At this point, I’m just glad ExWeb could get through this article without taking a shot at the Altitude Everest Team and their Second Step claims. There was also no mention of Russell Brice either. Somebody call Guinness.

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17 thoughts on “Update On The Bear Grylls Everest Paraglider Flight”

  1. So let’s see here…

    1 He flew over Everest

    2 His altimeter froze up on ascent so he doesn’t know what altitude he actually achieved

    3 Okay he didn’t really fly over Everest, but he did fly higher than Everest

    4 See #2

    I’m tired of Bear Grylls shtick. His tv show isn’t that great, it’s heavily edited and frankly I don’t find him very believable as an adventurer.

    He is just a lot of made for tv hype.

  2. I’m tending to agree with you Carl. Something doesn’t quite smell right here. For starters, if I were trying to set a record, I think I’d want multiple devices along to confirm the record for me.

    Plus, he turned all the footage over to a television show very quickly without anyone else getting to see it. Not unusual if they paid an exclusive, but awfully convenient and fits the “made for TV” persona that you noted.

    It’s also odd that he didn’t have anyone else with him, as his partner had to turn back due to mechanical issues.

    Guess we’ll have to wait to see what the video footage shows at this point, but I’m not sure it can confirm or deny that he reached 29,500 feet.

  3. I always had my concerns about the authenticity of Bear Grylls. His show althought interesting is open scrutiny. one particular episode I watched he said all he had was his penknife, flint, the clothes he was wearing (and of course a film crew) but the when he nestled down that night (before heading off to a hotel) he had a cup of tea in a metal cup.
    Ray Mears is the one and only Born Survivor.
    Long Live Ray

  4. I don’t think I’ve seen that show. What network was it on? I’d love to check it out. I’m off to Google now… 😉

  5. Yep! I’ve seen Ray Mears. I remember a show with him called “Tracks” or “Wild Tracks” something like that.

  6. I read that today too. So he’s not fully qualified for the SAS either. I guess I’m not sure what the distinction is, but I’m guessing that one is more like the SAS reserves. Junior SAS? Hmm…

    Bear does seem to like to exaggerate his exploit and his resume a bit.

  7. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU KNOW?
    THE 21ST SAS ARE TRAINED BY THE 22ND SAS,AND UNDERTAKE THE SAME TRAINING AS 22ND SAS,
    THE SAS RESERVES ARE DROPPED IN THE BRECON BEACONS ALONE AND ARE HUNTED BY PARAS FOR DAYS!
    COULD ANY OF YOU DO THAT (DIDN’T THINK SO!!!) THE SAS RESERVES WERE USED DURING DESERT STORM AND ACHIEVED HUGE SUCCESS AND ARE NOW BEING USED TO HUNT THE TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN! ALSO BEAR GRYLLS CLIMBED EVEREST……..HAVE YOU?
    YOU ALL JUST SIT THERE AND BITCH FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR CHAIRS.

  8. Joe, do you have a link to more information about how the SAS 21 and 22 are different from one another and their use in the field? I ask because I want to know more, not that I don’t believe you.

    From what I’ve read SAS 21 has become a reserve unit, and is not often thrown into the field except in unusual circumstances.

    Also, I don’t mind you coming in and speaking your mind and disagreeing with others. In fact, I appreciate a healthy dialog around here. But it would be great if you could offer some good facts and information without resorting to calling people out. All caps is a general no no as well, as it comes across as screaming.

    You should know that there were plenty of us supporting Bear until a lot of this recent news broke. He has certainly taken liberties with his accomplishments and has stretched the truth from time to time. The recent news about his show has not helped his credibility much either.

    And for the record, there are a number of people who read this blog who have climbed Everest.

  9. I was actually part of the GKN support trek on Everest when Bear flew higher than Everest.
    I can assure you, because I personally witnessed the event, that he did indeed fly higher and was able to look down on Everest.
    His partner, Gilo Cardozo, developed engine problems at 27500 ft and decended, the last 2000 ft are hardly questionable.
    This is a man with more guts than 99.99% of the population, lets cut the guy some slack ay?

  10. Tim,

    Thanks for sharing your personal experiences on the situation. It is much appreciated. It’s nice to get the perspective of someone who was actually there.

    As I’ve read, and written, more about Bear, I’ve definitely softened my stance on the guy. I think a lot of the stuff has been blown out of proportion, and now I’m looking forward to the footage of his flight to be shown to the World.

    You’re right, he has far more guts and determination than the vast majority of the rest of us out here, and his resume speaks for itself.

  11. bear grylls flew his paraglider on Mt. Everest – his program is entertaining and informative; he is an excellent climber and also is knowledgable about survival skills – I’d rather be almost anywhere with Mr. Grylls and his friends that the ‘contentious’ explorers of general history.

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