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Truth Much Stranger Than Television For Man Vs. Wild’s Bear Grylls

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While British explorer Bear Grylls has been accused of faking his struggles during the filming of Discovery’s Man vs. Wild, he has certainly led an exciting life that includes more than a share of near-death experiences while living an even more exciting life than what we see on TV.

Skydiving Almost Put An End To Grylls

Before becoming the ultimate television survivor, Grylls, born Edward Michael Grylls served with 21 Regiment Special Air Service (SAS) for three years in the 1990s. During this time, he went out skydiving when his parachute malfunctioned and tore mid-fall while he was roughly 16,000 feet above ground. He landed in the southern African sand and broke his back in three places. For some, that might have been the end of adventuring, but Grylls set his sights on a new challenge.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Who has time for a broken back when there’s still Mount Everest to climb? Less than two years after his near-fatal Africa fall, Grylls became the youngest British man to reach the summit at age 23. During his climb, he almost didn’t make it up, facing dehydration and was blinded by a migraine. After conquering this challenge on land, Grylls eyed another by sea.

Boating Excursion Almost Did Grylls In

In 2003, Grylls was part of a crew that crossed the North Atlantic in an inflatable boat, during which the crew almost died during a violent storm. With broken down electronics, the crew was blind and mute to any rescue operation that could’ve saved them from the freezing waters if they capsized. The crew somehow made it through the storm and reached Icelandic shores. And after surviving all that, it was almost a camera that did Grylls in.

Grylls Vs. Camera

While filming in the Yukon in Canada, both he and his crew were on the face of a mountain with hundreds of feet of thin air below. His camera operator slipped while sliding down the face of a snowy mountain. The camera operator’s wooden sled slammed into Grylls, breaking his femur. Grylls needed to be airlifted from a mountainside, but he was just thankful to be alive.

Grylls Owns His Own Mountain

Grylls lives on a remote island off the coast of Wales with his wife and three sons. The family splits their time between it and their other home, a Dutch barge in London. While Grylls has escaped quicksand and survived sharks, his biggest obstacle might be the tiny Llanbedrog community council. Grylls has made news over the years from butting heads with the council over his erecting a huge metal slide that ended with a drop off a cliff face into the seawater and proposals to build beach huts and make other changes to the island, which angers conservationists and other locals. Which just goes to show the hardest battles aren’t waged by man against nature, but by man against bureaucracy.

Walk of Fame

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From ‘Juno’ To ‘The Umbrella Academy,’ Let’s Review Ellen Page’s Transformative Career

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Kim Kardashian-West Shows Off Her Lavish Home With Kanye And Their Three Kids

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