Arctic Explorer Tina Sjogren Slams Bear Grylls

Arctic explorer and adventure enthusiast Tina Sjogren has slammed Bear Grylls in a recent interview. She thoroughly was flabbergasted by his advice on how to survive a fall into the ice in an arctic climate. Who is Tina Sjogren? The only woman to make it within a month to both poles in an unaided expedition. She climbed Everest too, unaided. Grylls was part of a large commercial climb and suffered from frostbite.

There are also problems with Edward Michael Grylls’ claims of being part of the famed SAS. It has been discovered that Grylls wasn’t part of the elite unit, the SAS 22, but the Territorial Army, SAS TA 21.

Arctic skier/explorer Tina Sjogren, who fell through the ice at the North Pole, reacted with disbelief when she saw Bear’s demonstration of how to deal with falling in a frozen lake.

“What is he doing?” Tina commented the youtube burp in disbelief. “And who dug those hand-holds for him?”

“There were two problems when I fell in the water,” Tina says. “1. There were no holds to grab when I tried to get out. 2. The thin edge of the ice kept breaking off under my weight.”

Spotting her ski pole floating around, Tina managed to catch it and swim to a thicker section of the ice, where she could drag herself up using the sharp tip of the pole. “It’s important to know that you have more time than you think in the water. Don’t panic, and don’t kick about. Take a deep breath before hauling yourself out – the air in your lungs will increase your buoyancy.”

And on Bear’s push-ups in the nude, “I definitely did not strip afterwards. That would have been extremely stupid – leading to instant hypothermia,” she said. “Wet or dry, the clothes will insulate, giving you enough time to find a suitable place to make camp. You can roll in the snow to remove excess water from the clothing if you want to, but if you strip you’ll really find yourself fast in trouble!”

Tina survived the ordeal, along with 4 Everest expeditions, all without frostbite. “There’s nothing wrong with inexperience, we’ve all been there,” she adds, “but it’s another matter when taught to a TV audience. Or when actors forget they’re just that – it’s like Sylvester Stallone starting to believe he actually is the World Heavyweight Champion.”

Yet Tina has a reservation to make, “I have a hard time to believe the episode. Is it Bear for real? Eating a raw fish right after, too? That’s the last thing you’d want to do – plus it’s bad for you. Perhaps it’s a comedy interpretation? I don’t know what to think anymore. Why would people even want to watch this?” [20]

More detail from Tina on thepoles.com which is the source of these revisions to Wikipedia [Ed. Note: You will find a few repetitions, since we include unedited articles only.]:

“Hey lads, do us a favour next time you refer to Bear Grylls in an article can you make it really clear that he was in the SAS TA (21)” said a reader email today. Seems there’s a big difference between the ‘real’ SAS (22) and SAS TA (21) – part of the Territorial Army. Seems also that Grylls and Discovery have had lots of people upset with their show and claims, and for good reason.

Arctic skier’s comment, “What is he doing?”

Bear reportedly left SAS 21 TA following a parachute accident. We don’t know what happened back then, but we do know that after his 1998 Everest summit, Bear was airlifted from BC with frostbite to his feet. He managed to get these in spite of being in a commercial expedition climbing on supplementary oxygen, and in fairly good weather.

Dramatically increasing since the arrival of (commercially led) inexperienced climbers on Everest; frostbite in the “old times” usually only happened to people climbing on no (or bad) oxygen, or in jet-wind type storms (compare to independent Karakoram climbers this season).

While team ExWeb hasn’t followed the Man vs. Wild series, we did check out a youtube link sent to us by the community. Youtube on Grylls

In this link, ‘Harry Hill’ shows episodes from the series including a section where Grylls teaches survival after falling into an ice hole. ExWeb double checked Bear’s technique with one of ExWeb’s own; Tina Sjogren who – in an unsupported skiing trip to the North Pole – actually did fall through the ice into the Arctic Ocean, wearing no survival suit.

“What is he doing?” Tina commented the youtube burp in disbelief. “And who dug those hand-holds for him?”

Nothing wrong with inexperience – it’s another matter when taught to an audience

“There were two problems when I fell in the water,” Tina says. “1. There were no holds to grab when I tried to get out. 2. The thin edge of the ice kept breaking off under my weight.”

Spotting her ski pole floating around, Tina managed to catch it and swim to a thicker section of the ice, where she could drag herself up using the sharp tip of the pole. “It’s important to know that you have more time than you think in the water. Don’t panic, and don’t kick about. Take a deep breath before hauling yourself out – the air in your lungs will increase your buoyancy.”

And on Bear’s push-ups in the nude, “I definitely did not strip afterwards. That would have been extremely stupid – leading to instant hypothermia,” she said. “Wet or dry, the clothes will insulate, giving you enough time to find a suitable place to make camp. You can roll in the snow to remove excess water from the clothing if you want to, but if you strip you’ll really find yourself fast in trouble!”

Tina survived the ordeal, along with 4 Everest expeditions, all without frostbite. “There’s nothing wrong with inexperience, we’ve all been there,” she adds, “but it’s another matter when taught to a TV audience. Or when actors forget they’re just that – it’s like Sylvester Stallone starting to believe he actually is the World Heavyweight Champion.”

Yet Tina has a reservation to make, “I have a hard time to believe the episode. Is it Bear for real? Eating a raw fish right after, too? That’s the last thing you’d want to do – plus it’s bad for you. Perhaps it’s a comedy interpretation? I don’t know what to think anymore. Why would people even want to watch this?”

Parental advisory about “documentary” fairy tales

A quick google on the subject reveals that the training for the ‘Bear SAS’ (21 TA) is a shortened version of the regular SAS selection – where most 21 TA’s never make it. Bear’s apparently pretending to be – but not being a “real” SAS is just one of the things that have ticked people off.

The main question remains though – how Discovery and sloppy documentary film makers will adjust to the criticism. Media can’t fabricate stories and claim they’re real: Fairy tales need to be advertised as exactly that – anything else is deception.

Last week, ExWeb ran the story “Pilots say prove it” written by British journalist Tarquin Cooper about Bear Grylls’ alleged flight over the summit of Mt Everest. Turned out, it wasn’t a flight over Everest after all. But it was too late – the media crew had already spread the incorrect news worldwide.

ExWeb did the story with respect to the 2004 spectacular over Everest flight of British Microlight pilot Richard Meredith-Hardy and Italian hang-glider pilot Angelo D’Arrigo. The two stunned the entire mountain as they came soaring toward the summit. Angelo fulfilled a dream that was four years in the making. He prepared extensively for the project by working in hypobaric chambers and testing gear in a wind tunnel.

Angelo d’Arrigo died on March 26, 2006 when a small Sky Arrow plane piloted by a retired military general fell 200 meters to the ground. Angelo left behind the wild birds he’d taught to fly, and a world of mourning fellow explorers for his courageous, no BS spirit of adventure.

Tina Sjogren and her husband Tom skied to both earth’s geographic poles back-to-back and without airsupport, climbed Everest in their own expedition, crossed from Europe to South America in an old sailboat, and did a number of other treks and trips – including in the Amazon and Borneo rain forests. No film crews, no media – just the real deal.

Even though Mrs. Sjogren and her husband didn’t have any film cameras, I’m sure that their treks would be worthy of some type of posterity. Now those documentaries would be thrilling to watch.

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14 Responses to “Arctic Explorer Tina Sjogren Slams Bear Grylls”


  1. 1 Major Feasey August 25, 2008 at 18:53

    I can ssure you that your ignorance about the nature of the special forces is to a serving member of the parachute regiment highly ammusing. You seem to insinuate that some how 21 SAS is a free for all and any part timer can join. This is simply not the case, yes 22 SAS are the most elite section of the SAS but 21 are also highly elite. The men must pass the same selection course, a course on which serious injury and failure are common place and deaths are not unheard of. You clearly underestimate grylls many 21 SAS men don’t have other jobs and are continually on deployment alongside their 22 counterparts.

    [Ed Note: comment was edited to remove foul language. Maybe the commenter could spell check his comments in the future as well, as it was filled with mistakes that I haven't corrected.]

  2. 2 range August 25, 2008 at 20:16

    Maybe you don’t understand quotes, but quotes actually imply that someone else printed this. I just quoted it. Why don’t you take the fight to them?

    This is also really old news. Bear Grylls has moved on into a new series and no one really cares anymore that he fakes some stuff.

  3. 3 Fox September 22, 2008 at 02:24

    First of all everyone who wants to learn from Bear should care wether or not his methods work. and to state a single sided argument is wrong especially if theses quotes aren’t quotes. Bear striped as to remove the excess snow and begin to warm up and put on his dry clothes which he stated he had in his pack.. if you do not believe his method of warming up works why not confront Bear & he will disclose wether or not his method worked as he was the one who tested it.So fight fair miss, you obviously found an edge strong enough to get you out of the water as did Bear. The Question is did you consider if both methods work?

  4. 4 Mick September 28, 2008 at 11:15

    Ugh, Tom & Tina have an opinion on everything. The most irritating adventure couple on the internet, by far.

  5. 5 joe - hereford. October 7, 2008 at 20:34

    Not to undermine Bear’s achievements in passing selection for (21) SAS (R) Territorial Army. He served 3 years part-time, which equates to less than a year full-time inc selection and in his case no active service. He did not pass SAS selection, which is (22) SAS. It is important that he is more honest and transparent with his SAS connection, I feel he deliberately misleads in order to further his media career and that’s where many Army guys and members of the public take issue with him. Where possible he misses out any connection to the TA therefore implying he was full-time and part of the true elite guys in (22), which of course has far more kudos. He seems to thrive on half truths in so many areas of his CV. Unlike say Lofty Wiseman, who in fact underplays his achievements. A true SAS hero and the ultimate teacher in survival. For me Bear lacks true humility and honesty despite his Christian beliefs.

    In reply to Major Feasey’s post I would like to add regarding selection standards:
    Any guy wanting to join (22) SAS from (21) or (23) (R) TA has to do full 6 mths selection just like any other squaddie, no fast track allowance (they rarely make it) Chris Ryan was a notable exception (ex B Squad.) Even if they pass, they are then sent away for 6 mths for basic Army training skills (unlike other squaddies) with the Para’s before entering F/T with (22). TA SAS selection takes place mainly over selected weekends during a year, so with ample time to rest and recover. Still hard but no way in the league of (22) SAS – 5/6 months continuous hard slog, so little respite regarding general tiredness or injury recovery not to mention quicker completion times required.

    • 6 bootneck December 24, 2009 at 23:06

      I am a wanker, please spank me!
      [Ed.note: This comment was edited due to excessive swearing, spelling mistakes, and flaming.]

      • 7 bootneck December 25, 2009 at 02:36

        yer fair one…bad spelling…and swearing but true stuff needed to be said there so cheers for letting a walt just crack on with his rubbish…il try again this time in a non rage filled adult mannor.

        right

        joe-hereford you have posted everywere about your hatred for bear grylls and how sas reserve are not like the real sas.

        i am a serving royal marine commando mountain leader so il try to introduce some real information here.

        you need to pay attention to what the major said, things have changed. despite what you might read you can no longer join 21/23 sas straight from bieng a civilian, selection is now run alongside regular candidates, same routes, same times, same weights. the only diffrence bieng they carry out the training that takes place in the jungle on senyybridge instead.
        the units are highly elite, okay so they dont have some of the roles that 22 sas do but then they dont need to.
        there roles are long range recce, human int and training of freindly forces. they are currently carrying out this role in afganistan (they have lost blokes doing so)
        22 sas are now beggining to warm to the idea (probably by force haha) of utilising them like sbs reserve operators (filling in places in regular sf units). just read :

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/1450394/Overstretched-SAS-calls-up-part-time-troops-for-Afghanistan.html

        where you get your facts from i just dont know “no reserve passes 22 selection” i can assure you they do (21/23 are the biggest suppliers of candidates for regular selection along with rm and para)

        no a member of 21 or 23 does not have to do a 6 month basic training package (i think two many chris ryan books have been read there)

        put it this way a royal marine reservist serves for 4 years, 2 of those years he spends on full time service with a commando unit, including a tour of afganistan. he then passes selection for 23 sas and serves in a number of ops in afganistan (some alongside 22 or sbs), he then cracks regular sf selection, do you realy think that man needs to do a 6 month basic infantry package.
        that is the way it is now the reserves are no longer weekend warriors they are profetional soldiers be it sf or normal.

        belive me i have friends who are regular uksf and reserve (im not going to start talking about what ive done..i dont want to and who cares haha) and trust me they have never been used more.

        they are still a unit of uksf for a reason remember (remember all the defence cuts)

        i think you are confused the sas actualy consists of 21 22 and 23 with 22 bieng regular i think youve made a mistake with your comment no ta sas guy would refair to themselves as sas because they infact are sas, regular guys are known as ’22′.

        you have painted this picture that sas reservists are some little pretend group that anyone can join and run round telling everyone they were the first men on the balcony when infact you could not have been further from the truth.

        all you have done is highlighted the fact you have never been in or have never worked with any of these fine units.

        as for bear grylls ice performance…he was right..you get out of that water anyway you can, as fast as you can how she has come to the conclusion you have more time in the water than you think and can have a nice leasurely swim to your poles i just dont no. however i do agree with here on bears performance back on the ice, i dont no what he was doing striping off an doing pressups…tv entertainment no dought.

        i would like to close with, as stated i am not nor have i ever been a member of 21 22 or 23 sas (i regard my specialisation as harder and i look at the sas as what the paras would call crap hats hahahaha) all jokeing aside stop making comments about guys that have done alot more than you will ever know

      • 8 range December 25, 2009 at 21:17

        Hi Bootneck, I always welcome constructive discussions on my blog. Your most recent comment was approved without any changes! Merry Christmas!

  6. 9 joey December 15, 2008 at 04:37

    (22)SAS hero Chris Ryan has slammed survival expert Bear Grylls, claiming he’s exaggerated stories about his military record:

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/58803/Why-SAS-hero-Ryan-cannot-bear-Grylls/

  7. 10 Chris January 13, 2009 at 07:35

    Erm… Who is she?? Does she realise that Bear can make a kebab out of any animal and eat it?!?! She better watch out, she’s getting ate soon!

  8. 11 bootneck December 25, 2009 at 23:01

    hi range, merry christmas my good man. just to give readers some proper information (instead of just reading the tail end of an argument) here it is:

    sas reserve pass uksf selection (not a part time half selection, the training weekends that last over a year are know a build up for the actualy selection)

    sas reserves are elite soldiers whos role is long range recce and they are highly skilled at it (they have performed it alongside american sof and sbs in afganistan)

    the sas you all think of (clad in black with mp5′s) that is only one small part of what the sas does (that role and roles like it belong only to 22 sas)

    bear grylls was in 21 sas reserve, be under no illusion despite what is said this is know pathetic wannabe poorly trained sas. as stated there role is recce and they are trained fully at it. anybody who thinks this unit is how people have described it in this article all i can say is sighn up to a ta unit for 2 years then apply for selection for 21 sas and see how far you get hahah

    they have lost guys recently so lets show some respect for a unit nobody here has ever been a part of (21,22 or 23)

    and finaly bear is training people in survivul, the sas’s role is direct action missions, that is there speciality this means that just because a trooper is full time and from 22 i does not mean he is any more skilled at survivul that someone who has done the survivul training from 21 regular or reserve has nothign to do with it (they do the same escape and evasion and tactical questioning course)
    fair enough if bear was trying to teach people about counter terrorist operations then it would just be stupid (as stated this is not sas reserves role) and a trooper from 22 would walk all over a trooper from 21 in a role like that, but he isnt its SURVIVUL i can pretty much guarantee the guy probably learned most of the stuff he knows outside the sas anyway.

    everyones got this view that the sas be it regular or reserve are amazing at everything and everything is there role…not true if you want to see the true mountineering and survivul masters (we teach sf) then i suggest you take a look at the royal marines mountain and arctic warefair branch.

  9. 12 range December 26, 2009 at 01:33

    Bootneck, you obviously know what you are talking about. I honestly don’t know anything about the SAS, except what I’ve read. I haven’t served my country this way (Canada) and I don’t plan to.

    This doesn’t mean that I don’t respect the people who make the sacrifice to serve their country in times of need. All of the elite units like the SAS, Delta Force, Rangers, etc, are needed in times of great peril. Since the war in Iraq and Afghanistan isn’t dying down, I expect that all of these units will have seen a lot of tours there.

    Merry Christmas to everyone, especially to our troops in the Middle East, who face danger every day.

  10. 13 Arnold Lane October 1, 2010 at 09:45

    I think the point is that while 21 and 23 SAS are now more closely associated with 22 SAS in terms of training and ops, they were not many years ago when Edward Grylls was in them.

  11. 14 Gemma Brockfield January 30, 2012 at 05:51

    There should be a correction to this article. If you read Bear’s booking ‘Facing Up’ you will realise that it wasn’t Bear who got the frost bite; it was his friend.

    It’s interesting -I’ve never read an article where Bear is slating others and I believe that’s a refelction on the person he is.

    Why oh why does this woman feel the need to make her uneducated and ridiculous comments about a fellow explorer who has also seen sucess? I would imagine jealousy has a lot to do with it.


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