Sir Chris Bonington has returned to the scene of one of his most high profile adventures. 48 years after he made the first ascent of the Old Man of Hoy off the north coast of Scotland, he is currently attempting to climb the famous sea stack once again, with fellow climber and Berghaus athlete Leo Houlding.
The pair are Making the ascent to mark Chris’s 80th birthday and to raise awareness and funds for motor neurone disease (MND) charities in memory of his wife Wendy, who died of the condition last month.
Along with Rusty Baillie and Tom Patey, Sir Chris Bonington made the first ascent of the 449ft Old Man of Hoy in 1966. Chris and Patey returned the following year and were part of the famous three night long live TV outside broadcast, The Great Climb. Leo Houlding started climbing before he was 10 years old and wasn’t even into his teens when he first scaled the Old Man of Hoy.
Due to the location of the climb communications are troublesome but keep an eyeout he on the Blog or on Facebook, as soon as we have any news we will keep you updated.
Before they started their climb, Chris and Leo both tweeted their thoughts.
“I’m apprehensive having reached the age of 80 and having had all too little climbing in recent months because of my wife’s illness.”
“Weather’s looking alright. Sir Old Man on Hoy here we go!”
Fundraising in memory of Wendy Bonington
In July, Sir Chris lost his wife Wendy to motor neurone disease (MND) and will use his 80th as an opportunity to improve awareness of the condition, for which there is no cure and about which very little is known. He and his family are also raising funds online for three organisations, including the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which funds research into MND and provides support, along with Hospice at Home and Cumbria Crossroads, which both gave care and support to the family during Wendy’s illness.