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Facing the Frozen Ocean: One Man's Dream to Lead a Team Across the Treacherous North Atlantic

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  306 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Five British men in an open, rigid inflatable boat fighting for their lives in perhaps the most dangerous and unpredictable seas in the world. The compelling account of the most recent adventure of the bestselling author of Facing Up. It started out as a carefully calculated attempt to complete the first unassisted crossing of the frozen north Atlantic in a rigid inflatabl ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Pan Publishing (first published April 2nd 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 635)
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Ashley K.
Jun 11, 2016 Ashley K. rated it it was amazing
Bear's first story Facing Up was great, and this was even better! I think what makes this story great is the how it is written, and also the story itself is amazing. Bear Grylls is a very rare individual, and the world would be a great place is there were more people like him.

The men in this story overcame incredible situations, over and over again, and you get to be right there with them. This story was more heart pumping then his Everest summit, because there was no stopping, there was no down
Apr 03, 2008 David rated it really liked it
This is the story about Bear Grylls, a famous British survival adventurer and his dream of crossing the treacherous north Atlantic in a open inflatable boat.
As you start to read this book, you feel like you are one of the men in the mission. Bear Grylls tells his true story with such passion that you feel you are with him in that small little boat as waves keep on hitting your face. It is truly an incredible account of what humans can achieve and how humble we are compared to nature. It is a pag
May 21, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing
This book takes you from Bear's original thought "can a Rigid Inflatable Boat cross the Arctic without backup?" Though the journey of creating such a boat, obtaining sponsorship, and selecting his team. To the page turning ups and downs (literally) of the crossing itself.
Bear is very honest with himself and this honesty make him very endearing, he is loyal to his friends/team, he always speaks positively about all the people he meets. But for me the most impacting statement was how he realised h
I'm sorry, but I love Bear Grylls!

Now that that is out of the way, I'll also say that this journey sounds absolutely horrible. A quote from Charlie:

"People still ask me what it was like on the ocean, and the best I can do is say that it was like parking an open-topped people-carrier in a car wash, and living in it for two weeks with four other men, during an earthquake, in sub-zero temperatures." (people-carrier = minivan, btw)

Delightful, yes?

Anyway, it's an adventure story and a survival story
Mar 06, 2016 Vicky rated it liked it
A little bit of research for my own expedition. An honest and readable account by Grylls of his team's crossing of the North Atlantic in a RIB, that is, an open inflatable powerboat. Encountering massive seas and storm conditions in remote areas, the crew come close to disaster on a couple of occasions, testing their resolve to the limit.
Jean Marie Davis
Dec 21, 2012 Jean Marie Davis rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fict, 2012
Yeah, so it's not the best adventure book I've ever read. Even as huge a Bear Grylls fan as I am, I was still happy when it was over. A bit meandering... a bit sanctimonious. But then again, it IS a memoir and you're allowed those types of liberties in what is essentially your diary mass marketed for public consumption.

I'm not sorry I read it and I did read the entire book but I'm happy to be moving on.

If I had to rank it with other adventure books, I'd put Alive! in the number 1 spot followed
Samar Kenkre
Aug 11, 2016 Samar Kenkre rated it really liked it
Enthralling! Kept me fixed to my bed for 3 days straight.
Sophie Brooker
Aug 18, 2016 Sophie Brooker rated it really liked it
Another epic journey by Bear.
Sep 04, 2007 Bill rated it liked it
I love "Man vs. Wild". Bear Grylls says it's ok to be lost: as long as you know how to get water from elephant dung;) This book predates M vs.W by about 5 years. This is a autobiographical account of his trans-arctic journey in a raft....a raft on steriods but a raft nonetheless. Bear waxes poetic as he and his crew battle rough seas that destroy ships triple his boat's size. A must read read for manly survival I'm off to see if our new duvet cover fits.
Dec 28, 2009 Catherine rated it it was amazing
As an ardent fan of Man vs. Wild, how could I NOT read this book? I couldn't put it down! The things that Mother Nature put in front of Bear and his crew stressed me to the point that if I didn't already know that he survived, I don't know if I could finished the book. I don't know how he survived...I suppose by the grace of God and the seat of his pants. Great read for those who like adventure and the Great Outdoors.
Jan 04, 2008 Dave rated it it was amazing
Bear Grylls is my hero. This is the 2nd book of his that I have read and I flew through it. Extremely well-written. He really makes you feel like you're there with him experiencing the emotions of a violent storm at sea. Wow. Why this guy does stuff like this is beyond me, but I'm glad he does because I get to experience it through his books without having to actually be there. Highly recommended book.
Ginni Brinkley
Oct 15, 2013 Ginni Brinkley rated it it was amazing
I read this almost straight after 'Facing up' and liked it even more. Bear and his friends clearly went through a dreadful ordeal in the freezing seas around the Arctic, which was described in great detail. I found myself even more taken up in this one than in the narration of Bear's climb up Everest. I also really appreciated the times Bear talked about his faith. Loved it.
Paul Clarkson
Jan 21, 2012 Paul Clarkson rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a easy to read account of Bear Grylls successful attempt to cross the North Atlantic in an RIB.[return][return]Grylls is honest and at times vulnerable about the expedition. [return][return]This book is also about leadership. Not in the 'traditional' leadership style but in a reflective and thought provoking way.
Dec 06, 2012 Bradley rated it liked it
It would be a mistake too muddle up Bear Grylls the TV product with the author of this book.

A much more considered and thoughtful man comes across on the written page than does the one squeezing water out of elephant faeces on the TV.

As long as you don't ask yourself "why bother" this is an interesting adventure yarn.
Jul 02, 2016 Micaiah rated it it was amazing
Totally fun. I love Bear Grylls, and this adventure is exciting, informative, and well-written. I really enjoy the glimpses into Bear's faith and family. I do recommend this. <3
Dec 05, 2008 Donald rated it it was ok
Shelves: adventure
Bear seems like a genuinely nice guy. However, this "adventure" seems a little forced and artificial. I don't doubt that what they did was dangerous, but it felt pointless.
Mar 02, 2016 Ragini rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Right from page one we feel like we are a part of the mission. Thanks for sharing this experience. No doubt the mission was dangerous bit it was equally rewarding!
Martyn Legg
Sep 23, 2015 Martyn Legg rated it it was amazing
An amazing, almost suicidal account of a boat trip most of us couldn't even dream up!
Bear's antics never cease to be compelling reads. Armchair boating at its best!
Oct 14, 2013 Tracey rated it did not like it
Shelves: autobiography
An exciting and somewhat scary read based on a true story. I admire Bear Grylls immensely as I would never be able to do it!
Zabetta Camilleri
Aug 11, 2011 Zabetta Camilleri rated it it was amazing
a great adventure

reminds you to get off your butt and do something interesting every now and again
Mar 04, 2014 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting account of Bear Grylls and his team as they take on a north atlantic crossing in an open boat.
Oct 08, 2008 Jmurray rated it it was amazing
Bear Grylls is awesome. I hope he becomes the king of england some day.
Jul 12, 2010 Rob rated it really liked it
If you like Bear Grylls and adventure, you'll like this book.
Laura rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2016
Alex rated it liked it
Aug 20, 2016
Doug marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2016
Lori Z
Lori Z marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2016
Sam Lloyd-Bennett
Sam Lloyd-Bennett rated it liked it
Aug 07, 2016
Rich Bate
Rich Bate marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2016
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Every year the death toll on Mount Everest rises, and for every ten mountaineers who make it to the top, one will die. Yet at 7:22AM on May 26th 1998, Bear Grylls entered The Guinness Book of Records as the youngest, and one of only around thirty, British climbers to have successfully climbed Everest and returned alive. He was only 23 years old.

The actual ascent took Bear over ninety days of extre
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