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 The Constantine Niarchos Story

On May 13th, 21 Climbers reached the Summit of Everest from the South Side, little did the world know that one of these climbers was one of the richest men in the free world. This climber had taken great precautions to keep his name from being released to the public. He contracted with one of the most respected Expedition companies in the world, OTT Expeditions from the UK. He made arrangements with the Ministry of Nepal not to release the list of names on his expedition on Everest. He told few he was going.

He was the son of the late Stavros Niarchos, one of the two shipping families in Greece (you all know the other one). He had been a climber for several years. One of his favorite climbing partners was Augusto Ortega (1958), Businessman of Huaraz, Peru.

He would go to Everest with Augusto on the OTT expedition.

Everest News believes his reasons for the "mystery" were security and he simply did not want the press. He certainly did not need it.

Everest News learned early in the Spring that there were a couple of mystery climbers. But frankly did not know which expedition they were on. When receiving the lists of climbers from our sources in Nepal the OTT list did not come. Several reasons were given which changed each time. We began to wonder... Everest News then contacted OTT for the expedition climbers list. They refused. We then figured it out. We told OTT we would respect a climber's request not to be reported on, at least not until he left the mountain. OTT still did not send a list. We told OTT, You know we will find out, if you give us the names we will hold them. OTT sent a list of climbers which did not include the two mystery climbers... We added a little note on expedition page by the OTT list, which no one ever seems to have noticed...

Our normal sources in Nepal then told us that the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal was not releasing the OTT list. He had covered all angles. We were glad we got the list of the others from OTT...

Everest News soon learned the names of the climbers after the Everest climbing season began, but respected the climbers wishes and did not report on them... As you know there was many climbers to report on...

When summits reports were issued our normal numerous sources reported and confirmed that both of these climbers had reached the Summit on May 13th.

Sadly they also reported that a climber was missing, Mike Matthews. On Saturday May 15th (US) the news of which was released to the public, after Everest News had requested to the family through OTT to release the name to calm many fears..... You see at least two American web sites had reported climber (s) missing on Everest's South Side without names.... Many relatives were contacting Everest News with rumors of problems..... Families were very concerned. Everest News was in a difficult position, to report or not to report. The Matthews family agreed to release the name and things calmed down. We have the highest respect for the Matthew's family.

The death of Mike Matthews frankly kept most of the media busy.

Much of the media apparently missed these two summits as they were reported by some sources in Nepal. OTT could not release the summits. Everest News decided we would wait to report their summits until they left Nepal.

As things began to calm this week Everest News figured it was time to release their names....

Then on Tuesday of this week, Everest News learned that Constantine Niarchos, one of the richest men in the world had died on Tuesday due to a suspected heart attack after being admitted into the hospital.  He was 37.

We decided again to wait....

The hospital started releasing the news off the record on Thursday...The UK press started releasing the news....

We have been told from reliable sources that a picture of Constantine at the Summit of Everest will be released to the UK press today...

Therefore, it is time...

Climbers said Constantine Niarchos had a great time on Everest and he made many new friends. Constantine was also said to be among the strongest climbers on the mountain in 1999. Some of which frankly will read this story and learn the News. We have e-mailed some...

NEWSFLASH 6/4/99 12:58PM EST

  • Constantine Niarchos on the Summit of Everest 5/13/99

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Source: The Niarchos family.

  • A couple of Editorial Comments: See our Story below in the Daily News

1.) Some of the reports Everest News has seen in the UK papers are not what the facts tell us.

a.) Climbers reported to Everest News that he was fine after he descended Everest.

b.) Other reliable sources have reported to us directly, that he was fine after he left Everest.

Hard for us to say too much more. But it would be interesting to know if they actually spoke with any climbers for some of those stories. We can tell you the climbers we spoke with in the last 24 hours did not know of his death...

Later Updates

  • All the climbers Everest News has spoken with reported that he was fine after he descended Everest.
  • Augusto is a businessman in that he provides outfitting, including all gear, porters, cooks, etc., for expeditions in the Cordillera Blanca, which includes such peaks as Huascaran, Alpamayo, Pisco and Huandoy. He is himself a guide and an excellent one. This was his second ascent of Everest--his first was in 1992--and last year he climbed Cho Oyu and Denali with Niarchos.  Earlier they had done Aconcagua together and had planned to do Vinson in November. Finally, on the point of whether Niarchos suffered any ill effects from his Everest climb, Augusto was not aware of any, and he was in the best position to know except for Niarchos himself. Source for this information: John Berry
  • Without going to the details, Constantine died of a heart attack, with agreement that his death had nothing to do with his Everest climb, but from drugs taken while back in England most probably causing the heart problems.

The climbers who was with Constantine on Everest, will remember Constantine as a fun loving person, who climbed Everest on Summit day as strong as the Sherpa climbers...

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