Sir Chris BoningtonHonorary President

Sir Chris Bonington walking in the Lake District

Chris, the mountaineer, writer, photographer and lecturer, started climbing at the age of 16 in 1951. It has been his passion ever since. 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. He 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. He is still active in the mountains climbing with the same enthusiasm as he had at the beginning.

He has written 17 books, fronted numerous television programmes and has lectured to the public and corporate audiences all over the world. He received a knighthood in 1996 for services to mountaineering, was president of the Council for National Parks for 8 years and is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Berghaus.

“Outdoor activities are more popular than ever in the UK.  More people are heading outside more often during their leisure time, and they are trying more activities than at any time I can remember.  For anyone who’s going into the great outdoors, regardless of their level of experience and ambition, it’s important that they use the appropriate kit and receive good advice on what to do, where to go and how to make the most of their time.  In this context, the role of the Outdoor Industries Association is of great importance.

For the trade, the OIA serves all aspects of the sector, offering services that benefit small and large businesses alike, while providing a strong voice on key issues that unite the industries and promoting the outdoors to a wide audience.  For consumers, platforms such as this website provide a wealth of useful information on activities, products, services, and the OIA member companies that provide them.  Whether you’re from the trade or are simply an enthusiast, I hope that you find what you need here and are able to get as much fulfilment from your own outdoor adventures as I have throughout my life.”