Bear Grylls has described how the death of Spencer Matthews’ brother on Everest “rocked” his confidence as an adventurer and showed him the “dark side” of mountaineering.
Michael Matthews was 22 when he disappeared while attempting to become the youngest Briton to climb the mountain in 1999.
Grylls, who reached the summit of the world’s highest peak in Nepal the year before when he was 23, said the tragedy made him feel connected to the Made In Chelsea star, who was just 10 at the time.
Appearing on Matthews’ podcast 6 Degrees From Jamie And Spencer, Grylls said; “He [Michael] was on the mountain the year after I was there and I always feel it’s his record.
“I remember I was the youngest Brit at the time and I feel he paid the ultimate price with his life up there. It really rocked me at the time…
“It shook me as the dark side of high altitude mountaineering. There are no guarantees, bad stuff happens to amazing, brilliant, talented brave people like your brother.
“It really rocked my confidence afterwards. And I always kind of felt, you know what, I’m gonna really have an eye for Spencer in his life.
“I’ve felt your brother on my shoulder often. And I just want to say you’re amazing.
“You’ve had a really hard journey and I think you’ve faced it with courage and I think Mike would be proud of you.”
Grylls said he ended up in a similar situation to Michael during his Everest climb and added; “I know exactly what happened. It’s an impossible situation he was in, I can see it so clearly.
“And I know he was out of oxygen and the conditions were horrendous there.
“He’d have dropped a few hundred feet too low. When he knew he’d gone too far, nobody would’ve had the strength to turn around and climb back up to find that route.
“I was in a really similar situation when I was on that mountain and we ran out of oxygen and I know exactly what he’d have been feeling there. And my heart breaks again for you with that.
“I just want to say I’m always here for you, I feel your brother on your shoulder cheering you on, super proud of everything you’re doing.”
Matthews’ other brother James is a hedge fund manager and is married to Pippa Middleton, the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge.
The full interview on 6 Degrees From Jamie And Spencer is on BBC Sounds now.