The Old Man of Hoy - Chris Bonington Summits Aged 80

by Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Aug/2014
This news story has been read 25,000 times

Legendary climber Sir Chris Bonington - partnered by Leo Houlding - summited the Old Man of Hoy yesterday aged 80.

The iconic sea stack off the coast of Hoy in Scotland was first climbed in 1966 by Bonington himself along with Rusty Baille and Tom Patey. Thier original route (UKC Logbooks) has become a UK classic and is a sought after tick at the grade of E1.

Leo Houlding and Chris Bonington after their ascent of The Old Man of Hoy, 95 kb
Leo Houlding and Chris Bonington after their ascent of The Old Man of Hoy
© Berghaus Collection

Sir Chris commented on the Berghaus website:

“I am exhausted, but very happy.  Climbing with Leo is always a pleasure and his support certainly helped me get up the more difficult sections.  I’m definitely not as lithe or flexible as I was in the 1960s!"

Chris climbed the Old Man of Hoy to raise awareness and funds for motor neurone disease (MND) charities in memory of his wife Wendy, who died of the condition last month.

He commented:

“It was a very emotional moment at the top.  I was delighted to have completed the climb, but of course I was also thinking about Wendy, who was my rock during all of my previous trips, whether near or far.  I hope that people who hear about this climb will take the time to find out a bit more about motor neurone disease and help us to raise some money to fund research into finding a cure.”

More info on the 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.


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