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  #1  
Old 03-19-2007, 12:20 PM
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Default Ranulph Fiennes - what a character

Fiennes served eight years in the British army in his father's regiment, the Royal Scots Greys and was later seconded to the Special Air Service, where he specialised in demolitions. He admitted in his autobiography to cheating on the notoriously harsh SAS endurance test known as Long Drag.

Service life was enlivened by various scrapes and escapades, including an occasion when Fiennes and a brother officer procured a very lively, squirming piglet, smothered it with tank grease and slipped it into the crowded ballroom of the army's Staff College, Camberley. On another occasion, offended by the construction of an ugly concrete dam built by a US film company for the production of the film Doctor Dolittle in the Wiltshire village of Castle Combe reputedly the prettiest village in England Fiennes demolished the dam. He used explosives which he later claimed to have obtained legitimately from the armoury. Using skills from a recently completed training course on evading search dogs by night, he escaped capture, but he and a guilty colleague were both subsequently traced. After a court case, Fiennes had to pay a hefty fine but he and his co-conspirator were discharged from the SAS. Fiennes was initially posted to another cavalry regiment but was then allowed to return to his regiment.

Becoming disillusioned by his British Army service, in particular his career prospects, he spent the last two years of his service seconded to the army of the Sultan of Oman. At the time, Oman was a British protectorate with a growing communist insurgency supported from neighbouring South Yemen. Fiennes had a crisis of conscience soon after arriving in Oman, as he became aware of the Sultan's poor government. However he decided that the oppression threatened by a communist takeover, combined with moves towards progressive change within the Sultanate system, justified his part in the conflict. After familiarisation, he commanded the Reconnaissance Platoon of the Muscat Regiment, seeing extensive active service in the Dhofar Rebellion. He led several raids deep into rebel-held territory on the Djebel Dhofar and was decorated for bravery by the Sultanate.

Since the 1960s Fiennes has been an explorer. He led expeditions up the White Nile on a hovercraft in 1969 and on Norway's Jostedalsbreen Glacier in 1970. Perhaps his most famous trek was the Transglobe Expedition he undertook from 1979 until 1982. Fiennes, Oliver Shepard and Charles Burton journeyed around the world on its polar axis using surface transport only, covering 52,000 miles and becoming the first people to have visited both poles by land.

In 1992 Fiennes led an expedition that discovered the lost city of Ubar in Oman. The following year he joined nutrition specialist Mike Stroud in an attempt to become the first to cross Antarctica unaided. Having crossed the continent in 90 days, they were forced to call for a pick-up on the Ross Ice Shelf, frostbitten and starving, on day 95.

In 2000, he attempted to walk solo and unsupported to the North Pole. The expedition failed when his sleds fell through weak ice and Fiennes was forced to pull them out by hand. He sustained severe frostbite to the tips of all the fingers on his left hand, forcing him to abandon the attempt. On returning home, his surgeon insisted the necrotic fingertips be retained for several months (to allow regrowth of the remaining healthy tissue) before amputation. Impatient at the pain the dying fingertips caused, Fiennes removed them himself (in his garden shed) with an electric saw. His first attempt using a hacksaw met only limited success.[1]

Despite suffering from a heart attack and undergoing a triple heart bypass operation just four months before, Fiennes joined Stroud again in 2003 to carry out the extraordinary feat of completing seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in the Land Rover 7x7x7 Challenge for the British Heart Foundation. Their route:

26th October - Race 1: Patagonia, South America
27th October - Race 2: Falkland Islands, "Antarctica"
28th October - Race 3: Sydney, Australia
29th October - Race 4: Singapore, Asia
30th October - Race 5: London, Europe
31st October - Race 6: Cairo, Africa
1st November - Race 7: New York, North America
Originally Fiennes had planned to run the first marathon on King George Island, Antarctica. The second marathon would then have taken place in Santiago, Chile. However, bad weather and aeroplane engine trouble caused him to change his plans, running the South American segment in southern Patagonia first and then hopping to the Falklands as a substitute for the Antarctic leg.

Speaking after the event, Fiennes said the Singapore marathon had been by far the most difficult because of high humidity and pollution. He also said his cardiac surgeon had approved the marathons, providing his heart-rate did not exceed a 130 beats per minute; Fiennes later confessed to having forgotten to pack his heart-rate monitor, and as such does not know how fast his heart was beating.

Fiennes reached 28,500ft in a 2005 attempt to climb Everest. He has joined the Victoria Falls Expedition, celebrating the 150th Anniversary of David Livingstone's discovery of Victoria Falls (this expedition started on 2 November, and originally took David Livingstone four years).

In March 2007, despite a morbid, lifelong fear of heights, Fiennes undertook a personal challenge to climb the Eiger by its much-feared North Face, with sponsorship totalling 1.5 million to be paid to the Marie Curie Cancer Care Delivering Choice Programme.
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:23 PM
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The thing about him is he doesn't think of any of it as being extraordinary.He's 63 and shows no sign of slowing down
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Old 03-19-2007, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike View Post
The thing about him is he doesn't think of any of it as being extraordinary.He's 63 and shows no sign of slowing down
To some men, the extraordinary is party of ordinary life... That guy certainly sounds like a character, and whilst eccentric in his ways, you certainly want him on your side if a fight breaks out.... hats of to the crazy old coote!!... he certainly has an unstoppable spirit.... long may it last!!..
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Old 03-19-2007, 03:57 PM
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He's an actor as well isn't he ?
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:24 PM
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He's an actor as well isn't he ?
NO dick head

[url]http://www.ranulphfiennes.co.uk/[/url]
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2009, 02:13 AM
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Default Sir Ranulph Fiennes conquers Everest on third attempt

[URL="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/?bcpid=4464161001&bctid=23887837001"]Vid[/URL]

Sir Ranulph Fiennes reached the summit of Everest today on his third attempt at conquering the world's highest peak.
Arriving at the summit just before 1am BST, the veteran explorer became the first man to cross the north and south poles and climb the Himalayan mountain.
At 65, he also becomes the oldest Briton and the first British pensioner to climb Everest.

The record-breaking adventurer, who hopes to raise 3 million for cancer charity Marie Curie, had a triple heart bypass in 2003 following a heart attack.
Sir Ranulph said: "I have summited Everest for Marie Curie Cancer Care which has long been a personal goal.
"I urge everyone who followed my attempt last year to give generously to Marie Curie so that we can at last achieve our 3 million target to support its pioneering work in end-of-life care."
Sir Ranulph began his latest assault on Everest three weeks ago, but chose to keep the expedition low-key after two unsuccessful attempts in 2005 and 2008.
A spokeswoman for Marie Curie said: "He wanted to do it quietly with no fuss. He only just failed last year - he got to within a short distance of the summit but had to turn back from exhaustion.
"So he decided he wanted to keep it very low-key without all the build-up and media attention of last year."
During his 2005 attempt on Everest, Sir Ranulph had a heart attack at 8,500 metres and last year was forced to turn back at 8,400 metres after suffering from exhaustion.
After his second attempt he said: "I won't be returning to Everest. It's a seven week trip - last time I had a heart attack, this time bad timing and weather scuppered my chances. I think any third attempt would be bad luck."
However, his change of mind meant he finally conquered the 8,850 metre peak.
Among Sir Ranulph's numerous achievements are becoming the first man to reach the north and south poles by land unaided, completing seven marathons on seven continents in seven days in 2003 and climbing the treacherous north face of the Eiger in 2007.
Sir Ranulph also joined solo yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and John Simpson, the BBC's world affairs editor, for the BBC Two series Top Dogs which saw the trio file war reports from Afghanistan, trek across the Arctic and sail around Cape Horn.
Sir Ranulph, who has already raised millions for Marie Curie Cancer Care, lost his first wife, sister and mother to cancer within 18 months.
The charity's chief executive Thomas Hughes-Hallett said: "Everyone at Marie Curie is delighted that Sir Ranulph has conquered Everest. We know it meant so much to him - we are so grateful to Ran for all his support for the charity and for his determination to personally take the Marie Curie flag to the summit."
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2009, 07:27 AM
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what a fantastically inspiring person! Just goes to show you that nothing is impossable!! thanks to you for sharing this story!!
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:41 AM
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The bloke is an interesting person...no doubt about it....hes missing a few fingers from frost bite...I watched an interview with him once on Top Gear...the man has a great brain and it would be great to pick it.


I liked the role he played in the film In Bruges
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrj1000 View Post
The bloke is an interesting person...no doubt about it....hes missing a few fingers from frost bite...I watched an interview with him once on Top Gear...the man has a great brain and it would be great to pick it.


I liked the role he played in the film In Bruges
I'm gonna have to look him up. seems like he is definatelly someone to emulate. seize the day!!!
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2009, 03:23 PM
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I think I better put my hand in my pocket...
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