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Oh Bear! Survival of the fittest - in Bass lake Chalets?

Posted: Jul 24, 2007 01:09 am EDT

(MountEverest.net) Seems Grylls' over Everest spectacle might have a happy ending after all. Friday, ExWeb published a second story about Bear Grylls' alleged over Everest flight. When ExplorersWeb originally asked the celebrity adventurer for proof of the flight, he replied that they would be shown on Channel 4. Turns out, that Bear's claims might lead to new editorial guidelines instead.

Breached viewer trust?

UK Sunday Times reports that Channel 4 has asked Diverse, the production company that made the Man vs. Wild series, to look into all Bear's claims. "We take any allegations of misleading our audiences seriously," a spokeswoman for the channel told the news source.

"The latest suggestion that Channel 4 may have breached viewer trust comes as the broad-casterâs supervisory board prepares to issue new editorial guidelines to suppliers in order to stamp out alleged sharp practices that mislead viewers," write the Times.

Horseplay in California

It's not just about Everest - in the "Man vs. Wild" series, Bear ('Born Survivorâ) apparently survived nights in hotels with room service, Sunday Times reports. A desert island survival took place in a motel on Hawaii.

In California's mountains, Bear was supposed to show how to survive with only a water bottle and a flint for making fire. His struggle involved biting the head of a snake for breakfast - somewhat surprising as, at the time of the quest, a complimentary breakfast was delivered to his suite at Basslake Inn.

That's where Bear also said he'd come across wild mustangs; and lassoed one of them. Not shown on TV was that the poor (tame) creatures were brought there on a trailer from a nearby ranch. (Check the full report by Sunday Times in the links section.)

It's a small world of Discovery

The show makers reportedly told UK Sunday Times they never claimed that Bear is experienced. That makes sense to the world explorers, who never encountered Bear skiing to any of the earth's poles, rowing an ocean or scaling the 8000ers - except for Everest in a commercially guided expedition led by Henry Todd, married to the BC manager of another Discovery series favorite: Russell Brice from 'Everest - beyond the limit'.

That Discovery series has been criticized by ExWeb for excessive claims and moreover - for not disclosing the true fate of an independent climber who was left to die by the team.

Spin doctor of adventure claims

Considering how many true experts on survivals there are out there, and how dangerous it could be for kids to try lasso wild Mustangs if 'Bear can do it', it is somewhat of an enigma why Bear was selected by Discovery to lead the show in the first place.

Another problem is that Bear has been something of a spin doctor of adventure claims also in his private life. But his TV show is not alone to deceive, the Guardian says according to Canadian GlobeandMail. Apparently the Guardian wrote on the subject that Channel Five series Killer Shark Live - were not live at all.

It's funny that Guardian would come to Bear's defense - as they apparently outed Gryll's dad, politician and businessman Sir William Michael John Grylls in a cash-for-questions investigation. Coincidently, the exposure involved a setup in a 1994 TV documentary - which was never broadcast.

A lesson from Pooh the Bear

Educated at Eton, Grylls has served part-time in the British Special Forces, but it's not clear what battles he actually was involved in. He lives on a converted barge on the River Thames and says, according to Wikipedia, that he only drinks whiskey.

The question now is how parents should explain the alleged lies behind Man vs. Wild to their kids. Is it better to be happy and deceived - or disappointed by truth?

For parents who decide to give it to their kids straight; we suggest to soften it up with the following Pooh the Bear poem:

The House at Pooh Corner
Pooh began to feel a little comfortable, because when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.
- A A Milne

"It is all captured on film!," Bear Grylls stated over email as a reply to ExplorersWeb's request for proof on his claimed para-motor flight over Everest. "Discovery & Channel four are releasing the 2 hours-long film documenting the whole adventure at the end of the year We will see it all then so there is no doubt!"

According to British journalist Tarquin Cooper, the aerial sports community does not seem ready to accept Gryllsâs word. Fellow adventurers are questioning how Grylls was able to determine his altitude when his flight instruments, including his altimeter, froze during the ascent. No Everest climbers saw him, and only a picture of clouds has been presented from the feat.

Later, an email arrived to ExplorersWeb from Gryll's Everest oufitter, stating that Bear didn't fly over the peak at all. By then, Bear already admitted that he hadn't - but said he had been honest about it. That statement again contradicted by his expedition website; clearly writing that he did. Find the stories in the links section below the image.

According to Cooper, in 2003 Bear was challenged by a team of power boaters after claiming the first crossing of the North Atlantic in a RIB [rigid inflatable boat]. The team claimed theyâd done it before him and Grylls changed the wording to the first "unassisted" crossing. Grylls also claims that he was the youngest Briton, at 23, to summit Mount Everest in 1998, despite being informed that James Allen, who summited at age 22 in 1995 and originally reported as Australian, is British.

#Mountaineering #Polar #Oceans #Opinion #classic

"Complimentary Continental Breakfast delivered to your Suite," (top left insert) says the website of Basslake chalets (main image) in Sierra Nevada (Calif) where Bear allegedly ate raw snakes for breakfast and tamed wild horses. Image courtesy of Basslake lodge website (click to enlarge).
Grylls' only proof to date of his over Everest flight. No climbers saw him, and his instruments allegedly froze. Bear dismissed ExWeb's question for proof stating they would appear in a TV documentary. Image courtesy of Bear's over Everest website (click to enlarge).