• Phil Packer

Mountaineer, Writer, Photographer & Lecturer, Sir Chris Bonington CVO CBE DL, supports BRIT

Sir Chris started climbing at the age of 16 in 1951. It has been his passion ever since.


His career has included nineteen expeditions to the Himalayas, including four to Mount Everest.


He made the first British ascent of the North Wall of the Eiger and led the expedition that made the first ascent of The South Face of Annapurna, the biggest and most difficult climb in the Himalaya at the time.


Sir Chris went on to lead the successful expedition making the first ascent of the South West Face of Everest in 1975 and then reached the summit of Everest himself in 1985 with a Norwegian expedition.

Sir Chris Bonington CVO CBE DL

Having served as Chancellor of Lancaster University for over a decade, and then supporting the university in the role of Chancellor’s Ambassador, I know that there has been a significant and worrying increase in the number of students with mental health challenges; especially with the additional impact of the pandemic on student life. The annual BRIT Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for students and staff of all abilities to take part in a team challenge to both improve and support young adult mental health and fitness. It’s also a great UK-wide feelgood February fundraiser and I am delighted that every university and college team taking part can choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities. The response from Olympians, Paralympians, sports personalities, adventurers and explorers to join the BRIT Ambassador family has been tremendous. Over 150 inspirational BRIT Ambassadors are supporting young adult mental health and fitness by promoting the BRIT Challenge at universities and college of their choice, sharing their lived experience, encouraging student participation, helping to destigmatising mental health and championing equality, diversity and inclusion. I hope many more explorers and adventurers will continue to join the BRIT Ambassador family. I hope every university, college and specialist college in the North West enters teams in the BRIT Challenge and encourages their students and staff to take part.”

Sir Chris Bonington CVO CBE DL Mountaineer, Writer, Photographer and Lecturer


He is still active in the mountains, climbing with the same enthusiasm as he had at the beginning.


Sir Chris has written 17 books, fronted numerous television programmes and has lectured to the public and corporate audiences all over the world.


He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1976 in recognition of the previous year's successful ascent of Everest and was knighted in 1996 for his services to the sport. He was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 2010 Birthday Honours for his services to the Outward Bound Trust. He was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Cumbria in 2004.


We are delighted that Sir Chris is supporting the British Inspiration Trust and championing the annual BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness throughout the UK.