Mike Matthews ever rest in Peace ? A sad story
is an EverestNews.com Editorial.
Matthews, age 22, of London, England, lost his life on
May 13, 1999, while descending to Camp 4 from the
summit of Mt. Everest. Mike was wearing a red
Northface Himalayan down suit. There as black trim on
the shoulders and knees, and he would have been
wearing a Russian oxygen system with perhaps a
"UK" or American bottle (UK or American
bottle is about twice as large as the orange Russian
bottles) and was a grey-blue color. His boots
were black One-Sport boots with yellow trim. His
ice axe was a silver color and was made of metal.
We have reason to believe that Mike was approximately
200-300 meters above the balcony when he lost his
picture with what he was wearing that day is here.
Mike was the youngest climber to ever reach the Summit
of Everest from the UK. As you can see clearly, Babu's
"stuff" is in the background. There
is no doubt Mike reached the Summit.
above is part of what we published per the requests of
the family and expedition with the hope that other
climbers would see Mike's body on Everest in later
years. Despite the
requests and investigations, Mike's body has never been
father, David Matthews, has threatened and considered
taking legal action against the guiding company, OTT Expeditions, after the
Everest Expedition. He has made his feelings pretty
widely known. The movie about Mike's death is due to
be played tonight on TV in the UK. It has been reported the family is now considering filing
suit against four of the guides on
the OTT expedition that year, one of which went home early on
the expedition due to illness. The family and the
family's lawyers have been in contact with
EverestNews.com since the accident. The family seems
to believe the guides let Mike down that day on
released the News on May 15th 1999 with a statement
from the OTT Expedition and the Matthews' family.
News: 5/15/99 Report 12:35 PM EST
Takes another life:
following release has been made by the Matthews family
and OTT Expeditions to EverestNews.com.
Matthews, aged 22, was lost presumed dead whilst
descending from the summit of Mount Everest on the
afternoon of 13th May 1999.
he never held it as an ambition he was the youngest
Briton to reach the summit of Everest.
was a keen mountaineer who had successfully climbed
Mount Aconcagua in Argentina in January of this year
and whose previous climbing experience included the
Swiss Alps, the Pyrenees and Kilimanjaro in Kenya. He
wanted to follow Everest with an attempt on Mount
was educated at Uppingham School. He worked as an
equity options trader in the City of London.
leaves behind his parents, David and Jane, his two
brothers, James (23) and Spencer (10) and his married
sister, Nina Mackie, all of whom are quite
inconsolable over the loss of Michael Robert Matthews
(4th March 1977- 13th May 1999.)
had been climbing with OTT Expeditions. The family
wish to thank members of the Team for their courage
and determination shown on the descent in Atrocious
movie's producers contacted EverestNews.com in July
2000, initially not telling EverestNews.com who they
were or what they were doing. Later they told us they
were interested in producing a film for "It's for a series
based around extreme sports". Then finally they
told us their purpose, after we became suspicious. The
film company seemed very interested in any
"bad" information about the climb or the
climbers, but did not seem very interested in turn
around times, the storm, or other information. The film company
assured us, that they planned on producing an unbiased
product. However they repeatedly told us, when we
asked, that they had not interviewed some
independent climbers that summitted that day who we
suggested they interview, nor the OTT guides. Frankly,
that it concerning... Let's hope they got both
sides of the story, and produced an unbiased product.
film company stated to us, "We are not
pre-judging OTT or any climbing company and we are not
attempting to replicate the controversies surrounding
'Into Thin Air'. "
the Into Thin Air story is a good place to begin....
us Doug for using you as an example here...
Hansen- Mike Matthews
Hansen was part of a large commercial expedition. He
was also the last of the climbers on his expedition to
summit that day, and was "late"
reaching the Summit.
Matthews, was part of a large commercial expedition.
He was also the last of the climbers on his expedition
to summit that day, and was "late" reaching the Summit. While not as late in
the day as Doug, Mike was the last climber to Summit
Everest that day; He took a long time to go from the Hillary
step to the Summit.
were clearly the slowest climbers on their expeditions
that day. If either summits at 9:30 am or 10:00 am, odds
would be that they have survived easily. They were
late and somewhat slow on Summit day. Not necessarily
bad climbers, but a very bad day for both.
Hall- Mike Smith
should also be noted Mike Smith was not the expedition
leader like Rob Hall, but a guide on the expedition
for what that matters.
Hall stayed with his client and died. Mike Smith did
not. Mike went ahead to break trail and waited for
this client, when he did not show, he finally descended.
Mike has stated the storm and deep snow prevented him
from climbing back up the mountain. Mike Smith lost
one toe and had frostbite.
Hall has been criticized in his death for Doug's
Smith has been criticized in his life for Mike
Smith had a similar choice as Rob Hall, he did the
opposite. However, although Rob stayed, Hansen still
if not all Everest experts would agree, that if Mike
Smith stays with Mike Matthews, we would have two dead
climbers instead of one.
Mike Matthews have died if Mike Smith would have
stayed with him? Can Mike be criticized for leaving
his client, Yes. Is it justified?? What option did he have except
stay and die? This
one, in our opinion, is for the Man upstairs to judge,
they would have turned around...
Mike Matthews was at the Hillary step at around 11:00 am.
Nick Fielding reported in the Sunday Times last year,
"Matthews, who had earlier been advised by a
Sherpa to turn back, had met one of the professional
guides and said he was fine."
have stated to climbers that Rob Hall advised
Doug to turn around.
they turn around, do they live ? Most would speculate,
expect the film to speculate that the oxygen Mike
Matthews was using that day could have caused his
death. Where is the evidence? We never found any
evidence that Mike's oxygen was not working during the
climb. To our knowledge no one has ever suggested that
his oxygen failed.
Does oxygen bottles/systems
sometimes fail ? Yes.
expect it will be suggested that Mike's oxygen could have
failed because it "could have been" recycled or
a refilled bottle. Where is the evidence
that recycled or refilled bottles of oxygen fail at a
higher rates? We have looked into this matter, as
climbers over the years have complained and sometimes blamed
their failures to Summit on oxygen systems failing. We
found new systems sometimes failed and recycled or
refilled bottles sometimes failed. We saw no stats
that would indicate that recycled or refilled bottles
failed at a greater rate than new systems or bottles.
blame Mike's Death on Himalayan Guides (Henry Todd) who supplied the
oxygen to the OTT expedition appears
very unfounded. In 1999, two other climbers died that
spring. Pascal from a fall and exhaustion after Summiting very
late without the use of oxygen and Tadeusz Kudelski
who is believed to have fallen. 100's of climbers has
summitted Everest using this oxygen according to the
climbers. No climber's death has ever been blamed on
this oxygen to our knowledge. Himalayan Guides, has never lost a climber on
Everest. Respected Commercial operator IMG uses
Oxygen System" where oxygen bottles are also
again, no one, to our knowledge, has stated Mike had
any problems with his oxygen system that day. To
accuse Himalayan Guides
(Henry Todd) of Mike's death would seem grossly unfair
in our opinion.
If the storm does not move in, clearly Doug and Rob
might have survived the night as others have on
Everest in recent years.
If the storm does not move in, does Mike survive? We
will never know for sure, but the speculation would be
that he would have, probably even have made it down to camp 4 the same day.
storms have killed several on Everest.
If a big storm
Messner, the legendary climber most consider the best
ever, was on the Summit in 1978, does Messner make it down? Does
seen Babu Chiri Sherpa, a
man who was strong enough to spend the night on the
Summit of Everest, die this year on Everest. Death on
8000 meter peaks is only a step away...
this analysis really help ?
reporters are writing articles on the movie and the
death of Mike Matthews including the New York Times.
Several has e-mailed EverestNews.com. We have held off
on this analysis, as we see no real new information
here. People die on Everest every year, as we say,
"The question is not if, but who and how many
and Doug are dead.
is an extremely high risk sport. We cannot think of a
higher risk activity than climbing 8000 meter
death is sad, but so are the many others on Everest
over the years. To
climb Everest or any 8000 meter peak and think death
is not a possibility for you is to be a fool. If Jerzy
Kukuczka can die climbing so can you ! If you don't
know who Jerzy Kukuczka is, you probably should not be
on a 8000 meter peak! The list of truly great
climbers to die on 8000 meter peaks from Kukuczka to Lowe, to Inurrategi to Harrison is
Mike and Doug know the risk ?
Commercial expeditions be allowed to bring climbers to
8000 meter peaks ?
think most believe in a free world where there is freedom
in the hills. Most climbers on Everest are NOT on
"commercial expeditions". Most climbers who
die on Everest are not on "commercial
Commercial Guides be obligated to die with their
example Rob Hall? Mike Smith?
Should guides tackle
clients if they go for the Summit late when they are
told or suggested to turn around ? As
laughable as that sounds, we have been told on one occasion
that a commercial guiding leader told his guide to
tackle a client if he did not turn around on Everest
late in the day. That story is now denied by all involved,
and all climbers lived.
year after Mike's death we posted this in our news
day last year, Mike Matthews lost this life on
Everest. May our thoughts and prayers be with his
family and those climbers that were on the mountain
that day for they will never be the same.
Mike, we know he is in a better place..."
family is devastated over their son's death. Mike
Smith is devastated over Mike Matthews' death and the
accusations against him from the family.
we being biased or wrong ?
can judge. We don't like doing stories like this, but
after the phone calls and e-mails we have received this
week. We sense there is a need for some balance to this
2002, more men will die on Everest, the Question is not
if, but who and how many will die? Experienced
climbers, some considered great, will die climbing
8000 meter peaks along with some climbers considered
clients. This is very high risk sport...
lose a son...
cannot think of anything worst in life. David
Matthews, who we have spoken with on the phone for
hours since Mike's death, is as mad as heck, and he
has a right to be, but that won't bring Mike back...