Fiennes, Ranulph Fiennes
December 6, 2006 12:17 PM   Subscribe

Meet Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the World's Greatest Living Explorer...
posted by quin (14 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
And so much more; in addition to his Transglobe and Pentland South Pole Expedition, he has run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, (after having double bypass heart surgery four months earlier), cut off two of his toes with a saw after frostbite had damaged them beyond repair, blown up a dam because it offended him, raced on Top Gear, and at one point was considered as Sean Connery's replacement as James Bond (which he didn't get because his hands were too big and he 'had a face like a farmer'). He is also an author with over 13 books published, an Order of the British Empire recipient, and a philanthropist who's expeditions have raised over £5 million for charities.

In other words, he's about as fascinating and tough as they get.
posted by quin at 12:17 PM on December 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

And he was totally the best thing about Schindler's List.
posted by mckenney at 12:23 PM on December 6, 2006

A year ago, the Victoria Falls Expedition.
posted by liam at 12:30 PM on December 6, 2006

But, he has never seen the elusive Jaguar Shark.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:30 PM on December 6, 2006

mckenney -- according to the IMDB, Ralph and Sir Ranulph are cousins! The things you learn.
posted by drinkcoffee at 12:55 PM on December 6, 2006

He went on Top Gear to do the "Star in a reasonably-priced car" lap, and Clarkson had him talking about all he had done in his life. Actually what he cut off were the top part of two fingers that had gone gangrenous from frostbite, but the remarkable thing is that he did it at home, in a garden shed -- his doctor had wanted him to keep the dead bits for a few more weeks before operating, for some reason or other.

I couldn't help thinking that he is the toughest badass guy who ever lived.
posted by clevershark at 1:10 PM on December 6, 2006

Fantastic post, thank you.
posted by Skorgu at 1:24 PM on December 6, 2006

Crap clevershark, you are right. I hadn't watched the whole Top Gear interview in a while and for some reason, got it stuck in my head that it was his toes.

I was just amazed that with the exception of the 7x7x7 link, no one had ever really mentioned his exploits on MeFi before.
posted by quin at 1:34 PM on December 6, 2006

He's missing a couple of toes as well -- they fell off in the bath. (I'm not kidding)

All this makes me think that he wouldn't necessarily have been a very good James Bond, because he's too much the real thing to just play the character in a movie...
posted by clevershark at 1:43 PM on December 6, 2006

I'd never heard of him. The British tradition of exploring the poles goes back to the early 19th C - after the Napoleonic Wars there was a large class of veteran seaman and soldiers with nothing to do so they sent them off to explore the Poles. Sir Franklin being the most infamous. Then it became tied up in Colonialism and patriotic duty, knighthoods were awarded etc.. it is quaint now in a post-colonial world that has been fuly explored.
posted by stbalbach at 1:54 PM on December 6, 2006

Ranulph is related to Ralph, right?
posted by Bravocharlie at 2:03 PM on December 6, 2006

Third cousins, BC.
posted by dhartung at 3:50 PM on December 6, 2006

Round and round we go.
posted by asok at 4:28 PM on December 6, 2006

Well, he's no Kris Kristofferson. I hear he can't even carry a tune.
posted by I Am Not a Lobster at 7:35 PM on December 6, 2006

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