Bear Grylls back for southern challenge

JESSICA MADDOCK IN WANAKA
Last updated 05:00 06/02/2013
Bear Grylls
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Bear Grylls

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Britain's extreme adventurer Bear Grylls is basing himself in Wanaka for two months.

It is believed Grylls and his crew have booked about 100 rooms at Wanaka's Grand Mercure Oakridge Resort.

Resort manager Mark Williams would not be drawn on the subject.

Grylls' team is also understood to have leased office space in Cliff Wilson St in Wanaka.

It would not be Grylls' first visit to the area; he filmed an episode of his Man Vs Wild television show in Mt Aspiring National Park in February 2011. He was crossing a river in the park by a wire when the ground shook because of the Christchurch earthquake 250 kilometres away.

Grylls entered The Guinness Book of World Records in 1998 after becoming one of the youngest climbers to reach the summit of Mt Everest.

The then 23-year-old climbed the world's highest peak 18 months after breaking his back in three places in a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa, while serving with the British Special Air Service where he specialised as a combat survival instructor.

Among his other expeditions, which have raised funds for many charities, was the first unassisted crossing of the Arctic Ocean in a small, open, rigid inflatable boat in 2003.

Four years later he became the first person to fly a powered paraglider above Mt Everest and the following year he led a team up one of the world's most remote peaks, in Antarctica, on foot and using wind-powered kite-skiing, bio-ethanol fuelled jet skis and electric paragliders.

Nearly four years ago, the father of three became the Scout Association's youngest ever Chief Scout.

The author of 11 books, presenter of several television shows and motivational speaker is also known for surviving on the native insects on whichever country he is in - reportedly saying New Zealand's tree weta is among the most disgusting - and drinking his own urine.

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- The Southland Times

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