Adventurer Sir Chris Bonington still a high-flier at 79

Lancaster University Chancellor and iconic mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington abseilimg down the Bowland Tower

Lancaster University Chancellor and iconic mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington abseilimg down the Bowland Tower

Once you’ve reached the top the only way to go is down - as mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington well knows.

During his career the iconic 79-year-old university chancellor has led historic expeditions worldwide including 19 expeditions to the Himalayas - four to Mount Everest and the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna,

He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1976 and -collected a CVO, (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) in the Queen’s 2010 Birthday honours and has a knighthood and a host of other titles under his belt.

Although realising a dream in 1985 when he reached the summit of Everest, one of his more recent achievements to date took place on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Lancashire when he abseiled down the face of Lancaster University’s Bowland Tower.

As part of the university’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the chancellor and pioneering mountaineer abseiled down the 150-foot tower for charity.

He said: “It is very special for me in this, my final year, as chancellor and very fitting to make the abseil to celebrate our 50th Anniversary.

“The view from the top of the tower is brilliant, much better than from the Shard which I abseiled down a few years ago.”

Sir Chris, who will be 80 in August retires as chancellor later this year, .

He was joined by more than 70 charity abseilers, both staff and students, who were all raising funds for the Student Hardship Fund, Ageing Research, Food Security, St John’s Hospice in Lancaster and the Dukes Theatre’s ‘MAKE Project’, which provides creative opportunities for young people.

Sir Chris has been very active in his role as only the second chancellor at Lancaster University and said he has thoroughly enjoyed the job adding: “It’s been inspirational and brought me a lot of joy.

“It’s broadened my horizons hugely and I feel privileged to have been the Chancellor of a top 10 university which is also a friendly, happy place.”

He is honorary president of the Hiking Club and Lancaster University Mountaineering Club and has a boat named after him among Lancaster University Boat Club’s fleet.




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