Spencer Matthews shared an emotional photo of a memorial to her late brother Michael on Mount Everest, which strangers have covered with prayer kerchiefs.
Michael Matthews died at the age of 22 in 1999 while climbing the highest mountain on Earth, after becoming the youngest Briton to reach the top.
Spencer, 34, has been following in her older brother’s exact footsteps on a mission to find his body for her Disney+ movie Finding Michael.
The former Made In Chelsea star has now revealed that the family installed a cairn (a pile (or pile) of man-made stones raised for a purpose), dedicated to Michael when they couldn’t find his body at the Thukla Pass. in Chukla Lare.
The pass is home to more than 100 memorials to those who have lost their lives in the mountains.
Tribute: Spencer Matthews shared an emotional image of the memorial to her late brother Michael covered in prayer scarves (left, how it looked when it was installed in 1999)
Adventurer: Michael sadly died while climbing Mount Everest at age 22 in 1999
Spencer shared a remarkable photo on Instagram, showing the monument when it was first established in 1999, and how it looks today, with dozens of prayer kerchiefs left there by strangers.
Wearing a baby blue fleece, beanie and gloves to protect himself from the elements, the reality star stood by the memorial, in awe of the many who so graciously left a tribute to his brother.
Alongside the post, he wrote: ‘On the way to Everest, you come to the Thukla pass at Chukla Lare, home to a collection of stupas (stone cairns), reminiscent of some of those taken down the mountain.
“Shortly after Michael died and in the absence of a body, we built one for him so he could be remembered on this beautiful path.
‘Last year I visited Mike’s and found it completely covered in prayer kerchiefs.
Swipe to see what it was like in 1999.
Michael’s body has never been recovered and his family have never been able to fully understand what happened to him.
Now streaming on Disney+, Finding Michael follows Spencer’s emotional quest to find her late brother’s body with adventurer Bear Grylls and mountaineer Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja.
During the film, Spencer, who was just 10 when her brother died, went on a ‘harrowing’ mission to climb Everest and find her brother’s body, retracing the ‘exact steps’ her brother took when he died.
Siblings: The TV personality was 10 years old when Michael (left with his brother James) tragically died
Looking for Michael: Spencer decides to go on a search to find her late brother’s body by retracing his steps.
Tragic: Michael is said to have gotten into trouble after starting his descent down the south descent through the ‘death zone’ on May 13, 1999.
Speaking on The One Show, Spencer said: “By the time Michael disappeared, by the time some people realized he was missing, it was too late.” No one survives the night, really. Maybe a couple of cases.
Michael is said to have gotten into trouble after starting his descent down the south descent through the “death zone” on May 13, 1999, after spending about 20 minutes at the top.
He was also the brother of Pippa Middleton’s husband, 47-year-old racing driver-turned-hedge-fund manager James Matthews.
The experienced mountaineer, who had previously conquered Aconcagua, the Pyrenees and the Swiss Alps, was the 162nd person to die on Everest.
Spencer went on to detail how he made the “tough decision” to go on the mission himself.
‘In 2017, the family was sent a photo of a body on the mountain and claimed it could be Michael. In fact, it looked like it might be, with similar summit suits. It’s the first time I thought that even body recovery was possible.
‘I kept marking in my head: “And if it’s him?”. I’ve certainly grown up with the feeling that he’s up there and died and stayed up there. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a body to mourn for my family?’
We gathered all the information we had. Some of the footage of Michael on the mountain I’ve never seen before,” he said, growing emotional as the interview progressed.
“It was the first time I had seen him on camera, because as a kid we didn’t make home movies or anything.
“Retracing his steps and understanding his final days a little better was quite cathartic for me…”
Finding Michael is now streaming on Disney+.