Considered ‘The World’s Great Living Explorer’, the inspirational Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been breaking world records, discovering lost cities, and leading legendary (and sometimes life-threatening) expeditions worthy of the Odyssey for over 40 years. A prolific writer, a dedicated fundraiser, and a motivational and keynote speaker on teamwork, leadership, and overcoming adversity, Ranulph has truly tested the limits of human endurance.
Riverboat, hovercraft, manhaul sledge, skidoo…you name it, ‘The World’s Great Living Explorer’ Sir Sir Ranulph Fiennes has probably travelled on it during one of his many inspirational and record-breaking endeavours.
After a childhood in South Africa, Ranulph returned to the UK to follow in his father’s tracks from Eton to the Royal Scots Grey regiment. He became the youngest Captain in the British Army.
His adventures began at the helm of the Jostedalsbreen Glacier Expedition (1967 and 1970) and the British Expedition up the White Nile on a hovercraft (1969). With his first wife Ginny, he led the Transglobe Expedition (1979-82), and he remains today the only man alive to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface.
Other fearless feats include the Unsupported North Pole Russian Expedition (1990); the discovery of the lost city of Ubar on the Yemeni border (1991); and Seven Marathons in Seven Days on Seven Continents (which he completed in 2003 despite recovering from a heart attack).
He is the first person to receive from the Queen a double clasp medal to his Polar award, each of which acknowledges both Arctic and Antarctic achievements.
Ranulph’s adventures have raised millions for various charities, earning him an OBE for Human Endeavour and Charitable Services. In 2009, he became the oldest person ever to summit Everest and cross both polar ice caps, aged 65, he made a staggering £6.2 million for Marie Curie on the way.
His daring escapades have sometimes been chillingly life-threatening. In 2013, he lost fingers to frostbite following the removal of his gloves to fix a ski in -330C, causing him to pull out of his Antarctic trek.
On the opposite end of the thermometer, the fearless explorer competed in the Marathon de Sables ultra-marathon, his trek through the blisteringly hot Saharan Desert across 156 miles in just six days raised even more funds for Marie Curie.
Marie Curie is close to Ranulph’s heart as his first wife, Ginny, died of stomach cancer in 2003. The culmination Ranulph's incredible fundraising efforts saw him named as the UK’s top celebrity online fundraiser by Just Giving, the UK’s most popular online fundraising platform in 2010.
Despite being in his 70s, Ranulph has come out of retirement to complete his next record-breaking challenge, to summit the highest mountain on each continent and to have crossed both polar ice caps. Between August 2016 and May 2017, he will attempt to climb four incredible peaks. Mount Carstensz in New Guinea; Mount Vinson in Antarctica; Aconcagua in Argentina and Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America and one of the world’s most difficult mountains.
With a multitude of exhilarating experiences to regale audiences with, it is not surprising that Ranulph is the author of many best-selling books – both fiction and non-fiction. His motivational speeches are littered with thrilling anecdotes from times spent pushing the limits of human endurance.
His speaking topics include:
- Building a team: blending character and attitude
- Overcoming adversity
- Handling extreme pressure
- Connecting nature's hurdles to day-to-day
- Importance of determination, patience, discipline, and creative thinking