is EverestNews.com interview with
Everest 96 climber: Much has been written about the events above the
South Col in 1996. Everest News thought it would be a good idea to examine the broader
picture, to find out what was happening elsewhere on the mountain to organize and
co-ordinate the rescue. Everest News has managed to contact Mike Trueman who has agreed to
answer our questions.
Mike is the Director of Mountain High Adventure
(and is leading an Everest 99 Expedition). Mike has led expeditions for over twenty-five
years. For much of this time Mike served as an officer in the British Army Gurkha Rifles
and he is a fluent Nepalese speaker. From a job as an instructor at the British Joint
Services Mountain Training Centre in the early 1970s to his last military position as
Commandant of the Army Mountain Training Centre in 1992, Mike has led expeditions in
deserts, jungles and mountains around the world. In 1996 Mike was Deputy Leader of Mal
Duff's International Team climbing the South Pillar route on Everest (in 1997 Mike took
over leadership of the Team Ascent Everest Expedition when Mal Duff died on Everest). On
the morning following the storm when 23 climbers were still unaccounted for, Mike was
asked to go from Camp 2 to co-ordinate the rescue from Base Camp.
Mike has agreed to share with us the macro view of 1996, including
what support was requested from the outside world, and how the issues of communication
both on the mountain and to the outside world were handled.
Introduction to Everest News interview with Everest 96 climber Mike
Thank you for the invitation to explain what
happened elsewhere on Everest during the storm and subsequent rescue in 1996. Perhaps I
should start with an explanation of how I got to be on Everest that year.
After almost 25 years, most of which time I served in the Gurkhas, I
left the British Army in 1992 after running the Mountain Training Centre in Germany for
two years. My last military "duty" was to lead a successful attempt on Annapurna
4 - but a month later I was in the war torn Yugoslavia where I worked for the British
Foreign Office for the next one and a half years. It was with some enthusiasm that I
returned to the mountaineering world.
In 1996 I joined the team that my old friend Mal Duff was organizing
to attempt the Polish South Pillar Route on Everest.
Mal put together teams which generally only consisted of experienced
climbers. The cost of paying for an individual permit on Everest was, and still is,
prohibitive, and for just over US$ 20,000 Mal made the necessary arrangements. Mal's
profit margins were small, but he still made a living out of organizing expeditions.
Unlike the commercially guided teams we climbed in the traditional style of expeditions to
high mountains. We teamed up with climbers who we got on with and who were of similar
ability, and we moved according to our own plans.
Mal's team in 1996 consisted of Finnish, Danish and British
climbers. The Danish members were a team in their own right, who were sensibly sharing
Mal's permit to reduce their expedition costs.
In early May 1996 I teamed up with Finnish climber Jaakko Kurvinen
to make a summit attempt on the Polish South Pillar route. In parallel the excellent
Finnish climber Veikka Gustafsson teamed up with the Danish climber Bo Belevedere
Christensen (currently on Gasherbrum 6 and featured on the Everest News link) to make an
attempt on the same route without supplementary oxygen.
Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and after waiting at
Camp 2 for several days I went back to Base Camp to get some medicine to treat a worsening
chest complaint. 72 hours later, I was back at Camp 2 on the day Rob Hall and Scott
Fischers teams went to the summit.
The first time we realized anything was seriously wrong was about 6
pm that evening when we received reports that Rob was trapped near the summit with a
The storm continued to rage and after a sleepless night we realized
next morning that we had a big problem with some 23 climbers unaccounted for.
A "rescue committee" which included Everest veterans David
Breashears, Mal Duff, Henry Todd and Pete Athans, was quickly assembled at Camp 2. It was
thought at the time that there were no experienced climbers at Base Camp, and I was asked
to go down to fill this gap.
On arrival at Base Camp I found that New Zealand guide Guy Cotter
had arrived from an expedition which he was leading on Pumori. I have the greatest respect
for Guy who is the complete professional, and we worked closely for the next 72 hours,
together with Rob Halls doctor Caroline McKenzie who proved to be a great asset.
During that 72 hour period between us we passed messages to and from
the outside world, made sure the rescuers high on the mountain received the necessary
support, liaised with the Nepalese authorities, organized rescue helicopters, and
coordinated the base camp representatives of each of the teams up on the mountain.
The first task which we finally accomplished late on that first day
of the rescue, was to produce a chart which showed the location and status of every
climber on the mountain. From this everything flowed.
Before releasing the names of casualties to embassies in Kathmandu
we checked again with climbers high on the mountain to confirm details. Mistakes were made
- we were told for instance by a climber who had seen Beck Weathers that he was definitely
dead and this was passed on. Next day we passed on the correction that Beck was
The use of the helicopter to go to Camp 1 was Guys idea and as
an ex helicopter pilot I thought that it was not possible - but I was pleased to be proved
wrong. In essence however that is how we worked. We discussed and developed ideas with the
sole aim of helping the climbers who were still on the mountain to get to safety. Despite
the pressurized situation which was often full of trauma and emotional stress (for example
when Jan Hall was patched through on the radio to Rob), there was never a cross word or
During the rescue some expeditions allowed who ever needed oxygen to
break in to their supplies which were stashed at Camp 4, and my final duty at Base Camp
was to chair a meeting of all the expedition leaders to sort out the oxygen
Sincerely, Mike Trueman
Answers to YOUR questions:
But first: Guy Cotter (ADVENTURE CONSULTANTS) is climbing Muztagh
Ata in western China. We asked Guy for a comment of Mike Trueman assistance on Everest 96.
Here is what Guy said about Mike.
"All the while people on the mountain were mobilizing to assist on the col. I was
very fortunate to be offered assistance in BC by Mike Trueman who was on Mal Duffs team.
He had a military background and did a great job in formalizing the rescue by looking at
the overall picture. Numbers missing, status of survivors, supplies available, rescuers
movements etc. Mike facilitated the meeting we had and everybody contributed. I was amazed
at how willing and supportive everybody was even though that assistance potentially spelt
the failure of their own expeditions through exhausting all of their resources. Guy Cotter
1.) Why didn't all the
climbers have radios?
If all climbers had radios it would cause chaos. On Everest there
can be over one hundred climbers on the mountain at any time and if each one had a radio
the situation would become impossible. In the police or military where multiple user radio
nets are common - radio discipline is required which only comes after considerable
The normal distribution of radios is to have one at each camp.
During a summit bid the radios can be redistributed within a team so that as the team
develops during the climb into smaller groups, each group's progress can be monitored.
Early during the rescue we did have to rely on information being
passed from whichever team had communications with those high on the mountain. However
things improved significantly after the initial confusion, and we were able generally to
talk when we needed to.
2.) Were love ones
calling it to Everest? it must have been chaos?
Not really. There were several teams who had satellite phones who
handled calls from families and friends of their own team members. Rob Hall had the best
communications facilities and we established our links to the outside world from there.
Other than Scott all the deaths were from Rob's team. The passing of news about deaths was
done quickly through the appropriate official channels so that relatives could be informed
properly. We had to do this relatively quickly before the news leaked - however we had to
balance this with the need to make sure our information was reliable. It is unfortunate
that during the checking process, we were passed inaccurate news about Beck. Given the
conditions at the South Col at the time I believe this to be understandable.
3.) Many climbers appear
to walk past fallen climbers on Everest. Look at the woman this year and the many other
examples. But others apparently like yourself stop to help. Can you help explain this to
I think what appeared to have happened on Everest this year needs to
be investigated. I can say that on Everest in 1996 everyone at Camp 2 reacted as would
have been expected. Lives were at risk and everyone pulled together to make sure
everything possible could be done.
4.) What does Mike think
about the hype around 1996?
In 1997 5 people died in one storm on the north side of the
mountain, but how many people know this, or if they do can they name the nationalities.
This is not meant as an anti-American comment, but I feel that a main reason for the hype
of 1996 was the involvement of Americans. Whenever this happens the American media pounce.
Time and Newsweek published cover stories on Everest '96. It was featured on Larry King.
And not forgetting the books. Largely therefore I think the hype has been generated by the
media and entertainment industries.
5.) Mike: First,
let me thank you for taking the time to respond to the many questions that still remain
concerning Everest '96. As a result of Everest '96. What sort of general consensus do you
see evolving concerning access to the mountain? Specifically, is it time
for an International Climbing Commission to restrict qualification by proxy, or guided
Mountaineering is all about freedom, and I think any move to
restrict this freedom by governments or international bodies would be a retrograde step -
and if this happens why just Everest - accidents happen all around the world. The next
stage would be restrictions in the Alps or in Scotland in winter - where there are many
accidents and deaths every season. I think this essentially a moral issue. Assuming
that there is open access to the mountains, firstly the climber needs to decide whether or
not he or she has the required experience to attempt whatever route they plan to climb.
Then the leader or guide needs to assess the same.
On Everest, on the South Col route for example, the technical
expertise required is relatively low - however there is a need for climbers to have
significant bad weather experience. In the worst case climbers need to look after
themselves in extreme weather, and it is this level of expertise that needs to be
established before climbers go on the mountain.
Whatever happens the qualification to climb mountains should be more
than spare cash and a whim - and I think it is this aspect, which may be giving commercial
expeditions a bad name.
6.) Did you give up
your summit to help?
I had had one summit attempt and had gone back up for a second when
the storm struck. Having gone back to Base Camp, it was a worsening chest infection that
put an end to my summit ambitions in 1996.
7.) Which came
first? Adventure Tourism or Krakauer? Or, did Krakauer crack open an egg
over an already heated pan?
Adventure tourism has been around for centuries, and so has
commercial climbing. In the last century wealthy Englishman paid local guides to accompany
them up mountains in the Alps. Expeditions to Everest since the '20s have always cost vast
sums of money. The large expeditions of the 50s - 70s required significant funding and
were only open to the international elite. In the 80's the development of modern
commercial adventure tourism, and in particular commercial climbing, has allowed those
with the necessary experience to achieve their ambitions. (I emphasize the importance of
having the necessary experience).
Everest remains for many prohibitively expensive, and I have a
dilemma with this. On one hand I firmly believe that we should all have the freedom to
climb mountains, but on the other hand the mountain is in grave danger of becoming
8.) What is your approach to taking clients to Everest?
I simply will not take anyone with spare cash and a whim. I don't
guide and I want a team where everyone knows that each other climber is there on merit. My
measurement is does the climber have the necessary bad weather experience - rather than
what he or she can climb in good weather.
9.) Is it fair that
climbers give up their summit attempt when in many cases the climbers that fail should not
be there in the first place?
The first priority when something goes wrong is to save lives and/or
prevent further injury or loss of life. Experienced as well as inexperienced climbers get
in to difficulties in the mountains, and for the rescuers whether or not those being
rescued should be there or not is an issue to be resolved after, and not during the
The IMAX team in 1996 were very much involved in the rescue and
subsequently made it to the top. In my case a worsening chest complaint prevented me
having another go. Several climbers from other teams involved in the rescue did make
further summit attempts. I am not sure that there were many who had to give up because
they were involved in the rescue in 1996.
Climbers who should not be there in the first place should however
feel some moral guilt, when rescuers have to put themselves in danger to get those
climbers to safety.
10.) Are these Sherpa
climbers really a lot stronger than other climbers on the whole? Like this year would
anyone have reached the summit if Appa Sherpa had not fixed the line. I know you were not
there this year. But in general what is your opinion of this?
In general Sherpas are very strong - stronger than most other
climbers. They are a vital and integral part of any team, but some people place too much
reliance on their Sherpas, and they too readily blame them when things go wrong. There is
often hype when non-Nepalese climbers reach the summit, but if those same non-Nepalese
fail for whatever reason, the Sherpas often become scapegoats. Failure to carry enough
rope, or the failure to break trail being just two of the types of excuses which are used.
11.) What was the
explanation of why no one picked up the Japanese woman who was alive. I can't believe that
left her there.
I can only report on the facts as I saw them from my position on the
mountain. We double checked with a climber on the South Col who told us that she was dead,
and we passed this news on to Kathmandu.
12.) Did the Sherpas play
a big part in the rescue?
Yes - but the their exact roles would have to be described by
someone who was at Camp 2 or above.
13.) What would have
happened if this 'rescue committee" would not have occurred?
I have to emphasize that the term "rescue committee" is my
way of describing those at Camp 2 who organized the rescue. It naturally formed from the
expedition leaders who were at Camp 2 at the time. If they had not been there then others
would have done the same. It is fortunate that so much expertise was in place at that
14.) Should Krakauer and
other reporters that make millions off others' deaths be required to share the profits
with the families of the dead?
That is a very deep question which I am not sure I have the right to
answer openly on a public forum. It is the sort of issue for people far cleverer than me
need to address.
Personally there are hundreds of mountaineering stories where people
have died. It is a sad but obvious element of the sport. Jon went to Everest tasked to
write later about his experiences. If no one had died I suppose whatever he wrote would
have just become yet another mountaineering tale. But the hype generated by the media
raised interest, and many obviously have sought more details by reading the book.
I have to confess that I have never read it! (But I do have a copy
which I may read in my old age). There are too many conflicting stories about what went on
high on the mountain, and I made a personal decision not to get involved.
15.) Any opinion why all
the deaths except Fischer himself were in Hall's team?
16.) Ian Woodall claimed
to have been in the British army. There have been claims that Woodall lied about his
background and in particular his army experience. Can you verify the claims made by
In the late 80's Woodall was a member of the British Territorial
Army. I was working at the Ministry of Defense in London when a proposal was received from
Woodall who wanted to lead an expedition to Everest composed of members of the Territorial
Army. I was asked to meet Woodall and assess his suitability to lead this expedition.
I met Woodall in London and it quickly became apparent that the man
was a bluffer who was totally unsuitable to lead such an expedition. Before submitting a
report however I checked Woodall's background which confirmed my views. I was shocked when
I found out in 1996 that Woodall had been sponsored by a South African newspaper to lead
an Everest expedition. It did seem rather odd that the newspaper had handed over money
without making similar checks on his claims.
I recently saw a tape of Woodall in heated debate with the
journalist Ken Vernon. In it Woodall avoids telling the truth on several occasions. Some
of the claims which Woodall has made can still be found on:
Let me state that there is no such unit in the British Army as the
Long Range Reconnaissance Unit, and therefore it would have been very difficult for
Woodall to have risen to command it. And as for being a guide registered with the Nepal
17.) OK: So even if it
would have been problematic for everyone on Everest to have radios, do you have any
feelings about the fact that all guides didn't have them?
Not enough radios or too many radios can cause equal chaos. It would
be normal for those taking a supervisory role to carry radios.
18.)Do you see any reasonable way to avoid log jams at the South
Summit when there are so many guided expeditions given permits each year?
This is a difficult one - which can only be resolved by expedition
leaders organizing the order and days when teams go for the summit. But this is easier
said than done. Teams will often be ready for a summit bid days before the weather gives
them the opportunity to achieve their ambitions - so they will all be sitting around
waiting to go. The weather forecast becomes known by everyone at Base Camp so expeditions
will generally start to get ready to move up at the same time.
This problem only occurs among teams climbing via the South Col.
However teams climbing the mountain by any other route is becoming scarcer these days.
Waiting until after the rush is I feel a prudent a safe approach -
and just as likely to be successful.
19.) I am interested in
Makalu Gau's reaction to having to be rescued after having ignored his fellow team mate in
favor of his own summit bid? Are you aware of any reaction on his part or thanks given by
him to those who helped him?
I can only say that we were thanked by the Taiwanese support team. I
remember distinctly having my hand pumped by a Taiwanese team member who had lost all of
his fingers on McKinley during one of their practice climbs, (when other Taiwanese
climbers died). Makalu was brought down first while the helicopter went back up to get
Beck. I couldn't speak to Makalu because he had an oxygen mask on.
20.) With respect to the hype over Everest 96, do you see any good
coming out of the focus on the climbing world as a result? If so, what? and if so, do you
think it overshadows the negative consequences.
I think a great number of questions were raised as a result of 1996
- I am not sure however that many have been answered. We are still seeing climbers on the
big mountains who are there because of spare cash and a whim. There is no substitute for
experience - most certainly it can't be bought.
21.) I would like to ask Mike about the death of Bruce Herrod.
His death reminds me of the death of Mick Burke in 1975. Both were
photographers who insisted on heading to the summit alone after the rest of their
teams had turned back. Without the benefit of hindsight was Woodall remiss in not
forcing Herrod to turn back (even after all the other deaths on the mountain) and can you
really turn someone around that high on the mountain especially of that someone has caught
If I had been in Bruce Herrod's position I would have gone on. And
although I am not a fan of Woodall's, I don't blame him on this one. The weather that day
was very good, and Bruce had been performing well throughout the expedition. I hadn't
realized before I read this question that except for Mick Burke - I know all those
involved (although I only met Bruce briefly). Peter Boardman was a good friend of mine,
and I still see meet Pertemba Sherpa on occasions. He came out of "retirement"
and was the sirdar for the wealthy Japanese businessman's aborted attempt in 1997
22.) Do you feel the continued and increasing commercialization of
Everest and the attraction to so many to climb it, will lead to more future disasters than
I don't blame commercialization (it gives climbers who have the
necessary experience the chance to achieve their ambitions - otherwise it would have
continued as a sport for the elite). The problem is purely one of numbers. If we continue
to see the numbers of climbers who we saw going for the summit on one day this year
then it is only a matter of time.
23.) You mention that
"some" of the expeditions offered help to the rescuers - oxygen, communications
support. However, from accounts I have read, the South African team was most notable in
their lack of cooperation in not only the rescue attempts (I.e. not allowing the use of
their radios) but in general summit cooperation. Is this true? If so, how is this team,
which apparently continues to climb together, regarded in the mountaineering world? Thank
I can say that Woodall and Rob Hall had a significant disagreement
at Base Camp over a Sherpa issue. Personally I have little time for Woodall. I met him 10
years ago when he was in the UK. We wanted Woodall off of the South Col as quickly as
possible during the rescue, because we didnt want extra problems.
24.) When you say that Everest is not hard technically, should you still have rock
climbing experience before you tackle it?
You need all round climbing experience which includes climbing on
rock, snow and ice. The experience to handle extremes of weather will take time. I believe
that there are no short cuts.
25.) To Mike Trueman- I'd like your comments on the way Adventure Consultant's headed by
Rob Hall and Mountain Madness headed by Scott Fischer acted during their ascent that year-
It seems that this friendly competition among rival Guiding Services created an
unfavorable atmosphere of trying to get as many clients up as possible in order to be a
success for future climbs- Shouldn't Guiding Services, especially on such peak as Everest
work more together to reach their common objective the summit of Everest- It seems that
since each group had a person of the media and of high profile, the leaders may have
possibly took more risks than they otherwise might have in order secure clients for
upcoming climbs- Thanks again for your time.. Jay Leppanen
Jay thank you for the question but please forgive me for not joining
in the debate about what decisions Rob and Scott made, and why they did what they did.
They were two great climbers.
26.) My understanding was
the Imax team made the first attempt on the mountain the day before Hall & Fisher.
However, you say you were at Camp 2 awaiting your second attempt. When did you make your
first attempt? How high up did you reach and what was the weather like ? It sounds like
you were the first to make an attempt in 96 or there is some incorrect information out
there. Thanks You
No we were not the first attempt - and when I say first
attempt, in our case we were waiting at Camp 2 for the weather to clear before we went for
the higher camps en route to the summit.
In 1996 we moved up to Camp 2 on 3 May. I dont know the exact
dates involved but the large Yugoslavian team, two Spanish climbers, and Goran Kropp had
already tried and had not succeeded because of high winds and deep snow. My diary tells me
I met the Spaniards at Camp 2 on 3 May, and Goran arrived down to Camp 2 on 5 May. The
IMAX team arrived at Camp 2 on 5 May, and I went down to get medicine on 7 May and I
arrived back up there on 10 May.
27.) How does Henry Todd
maintain the ice fall? Do the Sherpa do all the work? Please explain this to someone who
has never seen it.
I have great respect for the 2 x Ice Fall Sherpas. They maintain the
route through the Ice Fall and into the Western Cwm where there are also bridges across
crevasses. They start work first thing in the morning, and often go to Camp 2 to have
lunch if they are working in the Cwm. The Sherpas go in early ahead of the teams arriving
at Base Camp to set up the ladders and ropes. It is however a never ending job as the ice
moves, cliffs collapse and crevasses widen. There is also the effect of the sun on the
anchor points to which the fixed ropes are attached. Some times the change of route as a
result of ice movement is enormous. The Ice Fall Sherpas are often the last off the
mountain after they finish work each day.
28.) What do you think
about this nationalities issue that seems to follow Everest?
The nationality issue is a pointless debate. It seems to have got
out of hand more recently. I sense it is something the media has fueled.
29.) Since it sound
like performance is so much better with Oxygen and, in particular, when oxygen flow is
high (up to 4 liters per minute, I think), why don't climbers take more than three bottles
with them on summit day, and stash one or two on the way up, to be retrieved on the way
Oxygen bottles are not light. It is a balance between what you need
and what you can carry. Normally the plan calls for a bottle from the South Col to the
South Summit. Then one for the South Summit - Summit - South Summit, and the third to get
back to the South Col. Some expeditions have the "clients" carrying two bottles
with the Sherpas carrying their third bottle which is dumped at the South Summit for the
"client" to use on the descent.
How does this work that climbers on someone permit but climbing on ones self?
Permits are often shared to reduce costs. Individual climbers can
then use their own Sherpas. It is not uncommon on Everest
31.) When people die on Everest, who fills out the death certificates and where are they
The death has to officially reported to the Chinese or Nepalese
authorities. It is normally a matter of taking documentation from the authorities to the
embassy of the deceased climber. From then on it depends on the procedures for whatever
country is involved.
32.) Are many climbers unprepared for Everest ?
No not many - but a few are unprepared. Quite often climbers arrive
at Base Camp take one look at the mountain and depart shortly afterwards. This happened in
1996. I arrived a few days after most of the team, and one guy had already left.
33.) How does
this satellite phones, radios, e-mail communication work? I have never been on a
mountain... so if you can start with the basic.
In mid-April 1996 one of our climbers had a heart attack in the Ice
Fall. He was in a serious condition and we couldn't get through to Kathmandu to arrange to
get him flown out. It was however possible for me to use the satellite phone to contact my
ex-wife in Hong Kong where she was a doctor working with the Gurkhas. She relayed the
message through military channels to Kathmandu and a helicopter arrived promptly next
morning. This story made the front pages of the British press, and in most newspapers the
story was based on me using a hand held portable phone - like a normal Nokia or Ericsson.
In fact what I used was a large satellite phone that was powered by a "car
battery" and charged from solar panels or from the generator.
The satellite communications systems in use a year later are about
the size of a small briefcase and include a hand phone and a portable computer.
Faxed messages or e-mail can be typed and sent just as you would on a computer at home or
work. If you want to phone it is just a case of picking up the phone and dialing as you
would at home - but it costs a lot more!
34.) Should clients be
guided on Everest?
Yes - provided that they have the necessary level of experience and
choose to climb the mountain with a guide. However should clients without the necessary
experience, and who need to be guided, be on Everest?
35.) Did Everest 96
Everest '96 changed a lot of people - particularly the lives of the
families of those who died or were injured.
I learned a lot - although when I took over when Mal Duff died a
year later it rather seemed as if things had gone a full circle.
36.) Could you define the
difference between a guided expedition and a commercial expedition more finely? Can
an expedition be both guided and commercial which is what I would call Rob Hall's and
Scott Fischer's. Both men made a living guiding people up mountains. Correct? ML
Basically all commercial climbing expeditions offer the same up to
and including base camp. The options change from thereon.
b) Supported - in terms of supplying everything needed above Base
Camp. The same as the for the guided groups (less guides) but still with an expedition
leader ensuring that things go to plan.
c) Unsupported - often in two ways (1) where the climber(s) provide
their own Sherpas or (2) where climbers do their own carrying and sometimes route fixing.
The guided and supported options can be under the umbrella of one expedition who organize
the permit, but will often be completely independent - you could have two or three small
guided or supported groups on the same permit - this is done to reduce costs, particularly
on the Nepalese side of Everest.
37.) I would like to know
what mike thinks about the money the Sherpas receive ... why does he think western
climbers are better paid than them.
I haven't compared what western climbers are paid to what Sherpas
are paid - that would be a very complex discussion. There is an official scale of basic
payments to Sherpas. They can increase their pay during expeditions by for example
bringing down old oxygen cylinders.
38.) Do you believed in a
fixed turn around time for the South Side of Everest?
No - climbers should fix their own according to their overall plan.
But once a time is fixed then it is obviously foolhardy to ignore it.
39.) I sense you don't
really believe climbers should be guided on Everest. That climbers should be able to climb
on their own. Is this your belief?
I think the basic requirement is for all climbers on Everest to have
the required level of experience. I don't agree with a climber paying someone to provide
the experience that he or she doesn't have. If a climber has the required level of
experience there is nothing wrong with using a guide if that is how he or she wants to
climb the mountain.
Everest News wishes to thank Mike Trueman for his time in answering
these questions from the visitors to Everest News.
Thank YOU Mike !
We will see you on Cho Oyu and Everest 99 !!!
Update: Mike reached the Summit of
Everest in 1999 !
Mike is planning on returning in 2001 see here.