The Storms

Adventure and Tragedy on Everest

Author: Mike Trueman

Series title:

Paperback publication date: 01 May 2015

Paperback ISBN: 9781898573944

The Storms is the memoir of British Army Gurkha officer Mike Trueman, a veteran of twenty mountaineering expeditions to the Himalaya. Trueman, a former army helicopter pilot, gives a candid account of life inside expeditions to Mount Everest, including a unique personal perspective on the 1996 Everest disaster.

In August 1979 twenty-seven-year-old Mike Trueman set sail from the south-west coast of Wales, en route to Cornwall. The young army helicopter pilot was helping to move his friend’s yacht from Northern Ireland to the south coast of England. But as they sailed out into the Irish Sea, the sky turned progressively darker and the winds gathered pace. Over the next twenty-four hours the two young sailors battled to survive force-10 gales in what became known as the Fastnet disaster and which claimed the lives of fifteen sailors off the coast of Ireland.

Almost seventeen years later, Trueman was at Camp 2 at 6,400 metres on Mount Everest as the May 1996 tragedy unfolded high above him. As stricken guides, clients and Sherpas tried to survive the fierce storms which engulfed the upper mountain, Trueman was able to descend and – using his twenty-four years of experience as an officer in the British Army – coordinate the rescue effort from Base Camp.

The Storms is the remarkable memoir of a British Army Gurkha officer. Trueman, a veteran of twenty expeditions to the Himalaya, gives a candid account of life inside expeditions to the highest mountain in the world. He gives a unique personal perspective on the 1996 Everest storm, as well as on the fateful day in May 1999 when Briton Mike Matthews disappeared high on the mountain after he and Trueman had summited.

Mike Trueman is a former officer in Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas, a graduate of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst who flew helicopters with the Army Air Corps before commanding the Army Mountain Training Centre in Germany. He has led expeditions in jungles, deserts and mountains around the world, including over twenty to the Himalaya and four to Everest. In 1996 he was part of an international team attempting the Polish South Pillar route on Everest when the much-publicised storm hit the mountain, claiming the lives of eight climbers. As the storm raged, he was asked to descend to Base Camp to coordinate the rescue. In 1999 Mike returned and reached the summit of Everest. Since leaving the army Mike has worked as a humanitarian aid agency director, held European Union appointments in the former Yugoslavia and worked as operations director for a large expeditions company, organising over 1,200 expeditions around the world. Mike is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has written articles for international newspapers including the Sunday Times and South China Morning Post. He has appeared in a number of television adventure programmes and has spoken frequently on radio. Mike and his wife Jacqui divide their time between West Sussex and Normandy.

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