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Bear Grylls led Everest trek in attempt to recover body of Spencer Matthews' brother

Poppy Bilderbeck

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Bear Grylls led Everest trek in attempt to recover body of Spencer Matthews' brother

Bear Grylls has spoken out about his attempts to retrieve the body of a man who died in a mountaineering accident on Mount Everest.

In 1999, the brother of Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, Michael, passed away while descending Mount Everest.

Michael - who was also the brother-in-law of Pippa Middleton, the Princess of Wales' sister - was just 22 years old, and had just become the youngest British person to ever reach the top of the mountain.

British explorer and TV personality Bear Grylls has since revealed he went on an expedition to try and recover Michael's body and has spoken out about the team's efforts.

Bear Grylls has revealed he took part in an expedition to try and find Michael Matthews. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
Bear Grylls has revealed he took part in an expedition to try and find Michael Matthews. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

As well as being close friends with James Matthews - Spencer and Michael's brother and Pippa Middleton's husband - Grylls holds a connection to Michael in how the 22-year-old overtook his record of being the youngest Brit to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Grylls achieved the feat on 16 May 1998 at the age of 23 and made the Guinness Book of World Records.

However, it was only a year later when Michael managed to take the title from him on 13 May.

Michael took over the title of the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest from Bear Grylls. Credit: Michael Matthews Foundation
Michael took over the title of the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest from Bear Grylls. Credit: Michael Matthews Foundation

During a talk at the Oxford Union Society held this week, Grylls explained he took to Mount Everest alongside a group to try and find 'the body of the brother of a good friend'.

Grylls reflected: "It is the reality of high-altitude mountaineering, as people pay the ultimate price up there."

A documentary about Michael has been announced by Disney.

Finding Michael sees his younger brother, Spencer, retrace the climber's steps 23 years after his passing in a bid to try and discover his final resting place.

Spencer, who was 10 years old at the time of Michael's passing, took to Instagram to reflect on the upcoming documentary: "During recent years the question of whether or not Mike could be found and brought home to our family was often on my mind.

"I became uncomfortable with the thought of him being left up there, possibly in plain sight.

"[...] Over the last eighteen months or so we’ve been making a documentary film about this once in a lifetime journey to the highest point on earth.

"I am now proud to announce, together with @DisneyPlusUK that early next year we will bring you Finding Michael, a strong and powerful story of brotherly love.

"This has been the most meaningful and humbling experience of my own life and it is hoped the film will deliver my brave brother the decent legacy that he earned when so young. "

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: ATHENA PICTURE AGENCY LTD /: ZUMA Press Inc Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Bear Grylls, Travel, UK News, World News, Guinness World Record

Poppy Bilderbeck
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